Exclusive: VW’s $21,000 Future EV Is Actually A Next-Gen e-Up!


Probably not the car you were expecting.

Volkswagen recently created a bit of stir when Bloomberg reported that the German auto manufacturer would be launching a $21,000 (18,000 euros) Tesla competitor. We covered the story here also, and were wondering what Volkswagen had up its sleeves, since its current EV roadmap of I.D. vehicles didn’t include such a vehicle.

So, we were fortunate to sit down with Matt Renna, Vice President of Volkswagen North American Region (NAR)-G4 at the LA Auto Show yesterday to sort this out. Renna is also a former Tesla Product manager, so he knows the electric vehicle market very well.

Renna explained that Volkswagen wasn’t adding a new “surprise” vehicle into their I.D. lineup. The Bloomberg story was referring to the next generation e-Up. Volkswagen will be upgrading the e-Up’s battery which will give it a longer range and like the current e-Up, this vehicle won’t make it to US shores and will only be available in Europe. Renna couldn’t comment on the release date of it, since it’s not in his market, but other reports claimed the new $21,000 EV would make its debut sometime in 2020.

Volkswagen: Rolling Chassis with the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) – First pure EV platform for high volume

The new e-Up won’t be employing Volkswagen’s MEB platform which will underpin the entire I.D. line of electric vehicle from Volkswagen. While the e-Up is a very nice EV, and the added range will certainly make it even better, it’s not quite as exciting as some speculated the new EV might be. It’s great to hear that VW is updating their electric subcompact, but this ~$21,000 future EV didn’t turn out to be the Tesla competitor that Bloomberg had predicted.

Categories: Volkswagen

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

81 Comments on "Exclusive: VW’s $21,000 Future EV Is Actually A Next-Gen e-Up!"

newest oldest most voted

Always thought that would have been the next e-Up! Great move anyways, in Europe these small cars still sell a lot, and in this particular case, if it will have more than 200 km WLTP range (current one 160 NEDC) and 18.000 euros price (current one more than 22.000 but only in Germany and UK, in other countries still 26-28.000) it will sell a lot.

If done well, it could take a big chunk of the Leaf and Zoe customer base, along with expanding the EV market.

I just hope that price doesn’t require a battery lease on top. If not, then it’ll be a game changer for economy cars.

They don’t do that now and I don’t think they’ll suddenly start in the future. It was a great solution in the early days of EVs about future improvements, for example the battery upgrade from 22 to 41 kWh for the Zoe, or about not caring that much of the battery’s health, but now it would be seen with more cons than pros. The main concern people have about battery leasing is: “well, where are the savings if you have to pay 60-80 euros every month for the battery?” And that’s true.

I don’t think you understand how small the E-UP is. It can’t compare to the Leaf anymore than model 3. It has 4 seats ffs.

Well, it’s a car that, including the ICE version, sells around 100.000 units per year in Europe (around 160.000 including rebranded Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii) so, what’s the problem? Many small city cars have 4 seats. I personally would buy a small one but with 5 seats instead, but hey, needs and tastes change a lot from a person to another.

I was replying to who seems to think the E-UP can compete or even compare to the Leaf or even Zoe. I own an E-UP btw, so you’re preaching to the choir.

Well, it’s normal then, they are all in 3 different segments (e-Up : A, Zoe : B and Leaf : C). As for the electric powertrain, right now it can’t compete but maybe it will with this new generation, let’s see.

That’s why I said *some* of Leaf and Zoe customers. Right now there’s no smaller EV with over 250km range, so some chose the Zoe or Leaf because they’re the cheapest option, not because they need the size.

I just don’t understand these comments that a certain EV “will take sales” from other EVs. Isn’t it time to consider that new EVs will just take sales from gas cars? The pool of gas cars is so large that taking sales from other EVs shouldn’t even be a significant issue.

If you’re already shopping for an EV, then new entries certainly pose a threat to existing ones. I cross-shopped the Model 3, Leaf 2.0, Ioniq EV, and used Models Ss before settling on the Hyundai.

They do take sales from ICE’;s but many people traded in S and X for the 3.

If you really enjoy trolling and spreading FUD so much please stay only on Electrek Broncobet, don’t mess up InsideEvs too.

Please 👏

VW-eUp!, Nissan Leaf60kWh, Renault Zoë are three very different cars in different segments of the market. They don’t compete with each other.

Good for Europe.

Sub €20,000.- price tag.

More than 200 km of range (WLTP).

too expensive

It could still be the first electric car sold in Europe (together with Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo) with a starting price of less than 20.000 euros… and with a totally acceptable range for city driving and small trips.

Electric cars should do fine after first and second owner. So it is better to buy used real EV car than new e-Up which is totally uncomfortable and stripped down from everything you may need.

And why an e-Up! shouldn’t be considered a real EV car? In Italy the Fiat Panda (a car which is totally similar in size and charateristics to the Volkswagen uP!) has been the best selling car for decades. Also in the rest of Europe small cars are very popular. Unfortunately, Fiat only plans to make an EV version of the 500 and the Panda, which is ICE only, will probably disappear =(

Anyways, e-uP! and other city cars, well, are cars just like the other types of cars.

New = 5-7 years waranty (in Norway at least).. I’d go for a new one, or max 2-3 years old.

Why do you think it is stripped down? It has all the same niceties that other cars have, just in a smaller form factor.

Name three less expensive alternatives.

Try China

OK, which three Chinese models with >200 km WLTP range (i.e. >250 or so NEDC) sell for less than $21,000 before subsidies?

If you want 3 then: Mitsubishi I-Miev, Peugeot Ion and Citroën C-Zero.

OK, those are actually the same car under 3 different brands. 😉 Perhaps Renault K ZE, intended for China, India and developing economies.

The I-Miev has a 16 kWh battery, how exactly is this comparable to a 36 kWh battery car? And it isn’t even cheaper, it was sold for >24k Euros.

You are right the triplets are more expensive at € ~26K. I recall earlier having seen prices for the Peugeot Ion down to € 13K but that of course includes incentives.

> how exactly is this comparable to a 36 kWh battery car?

Nobody talked about the size of battery. This sub-thread was about cheap EV, not distance.

Yeah, they’re one model – but they ARE cheaper. They used to be significant cheaper too. They have a lower price, but also cheaper handling and materials, and have a shorter range. The Peugeot ion is the cheapest EV in Norway costing 15.689 euros (about $19.420).

I was really considering the ion, but when VW lowered their prices, I have concluded I will probably pay about $1.000 extra for the e-up. The ride is better, materials and seat is better, I like the layout and looks of the instruments better too. The e-up feels more quiet too. If the difference was $3.000, I would have to consider again. It will not be my main vehicle, just a tiny car to get from A to B, and 90% of all trips will be shorter then 20km. It will hardly ever be on a highway, just be on roads with 30-70km/h speed limit.

I have time though, so I would like more information about the new e-up, before I make up my mind. I would also like to see what the PSA group has to offer, when they show their new EV in 2019. Will if be cheap enough?

With 18 000€ price and more than 200km real range, it will pay for itself on gas savings in approx 220k km driven, not that expensive I would say

With the 7500€ government incentive available in my country, this would practically be reaching price parity with its ICE counterpart. That is as cheap as EVs are ever going to get.

The US slides further into irrelevance with the ‘it wont sell here’ mentality. Corrected version is ‘madison avenue will not get behind it’. Weve figured out how to sell fried crap food to the point where obesity & diabetes threaten millions. How about $5 cup o coffee? Anyone for a $12 cocktail? 4,000 SF poorly built/insulated house with 2 people inside? $1,000 cell phone anyone? Millions of 2nd & 3rd homes which sit empty 80% of the time? Purses $500 owner has 6? If the ‘machine’ wants it sold it will be sold. We just need to turn it into status symbol and wait for the ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ syndrome to kick in. Remember we sold MILLIONS of pet rocks & chia pet thingys. E-Up should be easy!

When you shop, you vote. I happen to hate new houses. It really digs into real estate agents when you say things like “I don’t want to see new houses, they were designed for profit, not longevity.” Still, your morality moment here doesn’t compel me or anyone I know to buy a Renault Twizy competitor for $21k, for several reasons. The US needs longer range vehicles because of the way most of the people here live. They also need off-road capability because it floods in Texas, it snows a lot in Buffalo, NY, and Michigan can’t maintain their roads (and has those ten-axle monstrosities instead of using rail freight). Oregon and Washington State have a terrestrial need for the likes of a Subaru Outback because there’s a lot of mountains to climb, and 5 months out of the year in Minnesota, AWD is a safety feature most drivers need to feel safe on black ice. This eUp! won’t make a dent with buyers in parts of the country where people have dirt or gravel driveways and we can’t all huddle in the cities because somebody has to raise the chickens, harvest the wheat, and prune the orchards and vineyards. VW… Read more »

Because there are no floods and no snow in Europe. How did people in Texas and Michigan manage to survive all these years without SUVs?

Your comment perfectly shows the reason why VW doesn’t sell the e-Up in the US.

Look, I’m providing the responses I get when I can’t convince someone to buy an electric, not my own. Downvote all you want, please, I’m right there with you; I should have put the whole thing in quotes, there was some clarity lost. All the stunts I did my first couple years with my Tesla and did it net sales to friends and family? Like 3, and one PHEV. But, nobody bought a Leaf because they talked to me, and that’s the way Americans think. I’ve pitched the Volt and the Leaf and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and I get the same garbage articulated above. A family living in a West coast metro gives me a line like “we just drive less” while they putter around in an old, diesel Volvo. A friend in a rural community in the mid-West keeps buying Ford because of some unbreakable covenant or family strangle hold I don’t understand. I’ve watched far too many Bj0rn Nyland videos to think there’s no snow or electric cars in Europe. But, I do ask the question: would you own a VW E-Up! and drive 100 miles in the mountains? However, Rome, Paris, London? That’s the market for… Read more »

VW has sold 1,000s of eUps in Norway…
I guess it doesn’t snow there…

Americans are just FOOLS who buy trucks to go over pot holes and speed bumps at the grocery store…
Wo Nelly that is some hard core off roading…

Americans have been duped so afar that nearly identical cars in the EU have a 1,500 LB towing capacity and the one in the US is factory rated at 0…
So go get that truck so Ford, Chevy, and GM can laugh all the way to the bank as Ford’s average profit on an F150 is 10k…

VW is not focusing on only urban markets any more that every other BEV maker they simply have a price range style threshold which is diminishing with cheaper and better batteries…

BUT VW does mainly focus on China and the EU which they should because they sell about as many VWs in China or the EU in one month as the do a whole year in the US…

But the question I continue to ask is where they are driven. Do they leave the metro? Are you claiming they do 400 mile road trips?

I’m sure most are driven in cities, as most people live in a city of some kind. Some may use it for a longer distance to get to work, but nowhere near 400 miles. People would tend to fly that distance. I took a few longer trips back when I had my i3, and it was no problem – but I think that people who drive long distances (and can afford it) choose a larger car like a BMW 5 series for example, or a Model S if they drive an EV. The comfort of a larger vehicle is usually much better, and they are suited for longer distances with cooling in the seats, or massage seats and what not. With that being said.. I had a small Volvo once (about the size of a Golf), and I drove many trips that was in the 5.000-12.000km range. The longes in one go was from Hirtshals in Denmark to Catalonia in Spain in one day. That was 2330km (about 1448 miles), and it took about 20+ hours. That was of course with a gasoline engine, and to fill it up was like 3 minutes. Now, I would have stopped for the… Read more »

Changing argument a little:

I’m from Europe and I was shocked to hear from a little girl who went in Florida for two weeks, during summer, that Coca Cola is cheaper than drinkable water! Speaking about the obvious problems of weight and health such a situation brings, her parents told me: “They want people to be like that”. For what I know, a society living with such a ruthless system, which only aims at profit and is deeply influenced by lobbies, can’t really be considered a democracy.

I really hope you Americans can change these degenerated non written rules. You deserve it like any other nation in the world.

So true and another thing I saw that is laughable is that the BEVs in China allegedly spy on their drivers to the government but in the grand ole USSA it is OK if private companies (auto manufactures, Google, Verizon, etc, etc… ) do the same and then sell your information to advertisers or the government…

You have the wrong impression of America. Vexar’s email does not reflect the reality either. Each state ifs different and most of the population lives in California (40 million, 13% or the South East, FL, GA, SC, NC, SC, VA, AL, 90 million: 25%) both regions have moderate climates with no extremes. Tesla has the 4th best selling car the USA after the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord and Civic so there is room for car like the e-UP. Many cities have enacted Sugary Drinks bans and soft drink sales are down. Most people live in cities, 81% of the population is urban. The obesity crisis is as bad in Europe as it is in the US, Ireland, the UK, Greece have obesity rates that are very close to the US rates. Coca Cola is not cheaper than drinkable water since drinkable water is free. In my county the drinking water is excellent and better than most bottled water and I measure the PPM of TDS and acidity on a regular basis. Florida has excellent water. VW might not want to the sell this model now in the US since they have other problems as the result of the fines… Read more »

Sorry, I certainly didn’t want to give the impression that life in the US is so bad, absolutely not. Even in Italy we have obesity problem and even smoke one, which I think is more common than in America 🙁
And good thing if water is free (even that in the bottle? I’m curious!)
I just wanted to say that I have the impression, in general, lobbies are more (and more powerful) in America than in Europe, especially regarding weapons, food… sadly I can’t say oil, here in Italy oil company Eni and highways operators still lobby against EV chargers in service stations… and till now they had success, still something like 10 in a country with 60 million people 😭

EVs are still too expensive for most people in the US because they spend all their money on bottled beverages, sugared or otherwise. Find someone making $20 /hr who won’t give you the argument that they can’t afford an EV, going out to eat at lunch every day, and their $500 cell phones, $100 a month cable TV and $100 a month internet unlimited data plans.

Austerity is not an American virtue.

“…I was shocked to hear from a little girl who went in Florida for two weeks, during summer, that Coca Cola is cheaper than drinkable water!”

I guess what you mean is that in American convenience stores, you can buy small bottles of bottled water at absurd prices… higher than the price of gasoline!

But the lesson there isn’t that there is some grand conspiracy to force (or more precisely, entice) Americans to become fat. (Perhaps there is, but that’s not a symptom of it.) The lesson there is that some people will pay absurd amounts for bottled water.

Not sure it really is so normal that sodas cost much less than water bottles then, and I don’t even think Coca Cola or Pepsi don’t play their big part in this story. But I can believe you, probably you are smarter than Italians and you don’t waste plastic for some water drinking it from the aqueduct! If it’s like that, then it’s ok.

drinking it from the aqueduct *instead*, sorry about that, it wasn’t very clear.

Indeed. But don’t look now, because it’s no different on this side of the pond.
Just like everywhere else on the planet.
We, our freedom and our democracy, have been kidnapped by big money for quite a while now.
So far, only a small group of people understand what’s going on, the rest is too stressed out from trying to survive to even have the time to think about it.
As I see it, those of us that do understand have the responsibility to show it to the ones that don’t, until it sinks in with enough people to change the system.

In Norway a bottle of water or a coke will cost about the same (or more) as a liter of gasoline (about $2) at a gas station.
Gas stations are expansive or sure. A liter of milk cost about the same too..

Considering that a lot of countries in Europe are offering up to 10000 euro incentive for electric cars, this little thing will sell like hot cakes.

I’m not aware of any country in Europe that is offering a 10,000 Euro incentive for cheap EVs… Some countries do offer tax discounts that can amount to 10,000 Euro for *expensive* cars, but nowhere near that for cheaper ones. Others offer fixed incentives independent of vehicle price — but these are typically some 5,000 Euro or less.

The model refresh for the ICE-Up! is slated for fall 2019, though we don’t know if the e-Up will launch at the same time.

In other words the VW BEV equivalent of a GM Geo or smaller than Toyota Yaris(old Echo/Tercel), in Europe there is a Toyota Aygo a tinycar below subcompact size. Yes VW, an almost 1/2 price of the Mod3 base SR@$35,000,and almost 1/2 the size too.

So that should roughly mean that it only has half of the hill top mining requirements to create it…
I fail to see how buying a 4,000 or 5,000 LB plus high performance luxury vehicle is making a sacrifice…

The point is that it’s in no way a Model 3 competitor, unlike what some news outlets ridiculously reported…

Japanese auto manufacturers should make EV versions of their Kei cars ,tall city cars that are available with AWD/4WD in Japan,space efficient ,they come in all configurations ,microvans,pickups ,delivery /cargo vans,passenger cars.Strong ,sturdy vehicles ,these are exported to 3rd world countries after Japans mandatory age and mileage regulations for vehicles Being small cars they would not require big batteries and are mainly city cars,excellent for 50%-80% of most driving needs both Europe and US inter city environs. We drive too may 1person SUVs and pickups.GOOGLE Kei Cars Japan and see what I mean. Comments are welcome ,Thanks ,Rey

I searched them and they are so cute 😍
Yes, they should definitely make them electric.
Only drawback I imagine is the bad aerodynamics, but you can deal with it.

It’s a shame Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Mitsubishi, Subaru lag so much regarding electric cars.
But also other automakers like Ford, FCA, GM need to increase their efforts towards BEVs.

Aside from Tesla and the Chineese I currently see very well postioned Hyundai-Kia (Ioniq, Kona, Soul and Niro 100% electric, and various decent PHEVs). They only need to further increase production but they already know how to do good BEVs: efficient powertrains and large battery packs, I’d definitely buy a 39 kWh Ioniq when it comes out for example.

> Only drawback I imagine is the bad aerodynamics, but you can deal with it.

If driven below ~80 km/h does not matter much. So as a city car it will be OK. Easy to park and fitting in K-car category is much more important.

> I currently see very well postioned Hyundai-Kia

Yes, they used to be a odd out brand, but with their new EV line-up they are moving to center stage. Kona and Niro will sell very well if just they can produce enough.

Google Suzuki Multicab ,also suzuki multi cab jeepneys Philippines ,These are made in Japan,cut up and imported as parts and welded back together , very basic vehicles but sturdy ,the 3 cyl. engines easy to fix ,these things last 20 yrs or more in very rugged conditions . in 2012 a few companies made a few battery versions. these are not hiway cars more like farm duty with the 4wd.

That’s exactly what Mitsubishi did with its i-MiEV. The i-MiEV was our first EV, was the ideal size, and had perfect functionality for my wife and me. We live on a relatively small isolated island in the U.S. so don’t need a long-range EV suitable for highway driving.

Mitsubishi did in the iMev and they sold it world wide with no success which could be largely due to expensive first generation batteries that never got updated and a 65 or so mile range…

The styling didn’t help that thing looked like an egg

So the electric Smart needs to become cheaper.

Smart Fortwo (and maybe Forfour too) will have a new generation which will definitely ditch the internal combustion engine in late 2019. It will surely be more competitive, so more range and cheaper (I hope they’ll also put DC fast charging capability).

In other VW news:
“Volkswagen has agreed to pay more than $25 billion in the United States for claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers, and has offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles”

This is a step in the right direction for VW. At least for Europe where range is less of an issue than in the US. To gauge how big a step will come down to production numbers. If you are not pumping these compacts out like popcorn at the movies, it’s little more than another compliance car.

The Leaf still sells and suffers for its lack of battery management. There is more than enough market appetite in Europe to absorb this BEV without taking market share for the likes of the Zoe. Choice will broaden the market.

It’s two classes smaller than a compact. There is definitely a market for such cars in Europe — but it’s not super huge even here. Don’t expect it to sell it in volumes like a Leaf or Zoe.

So it actually turned out to be fake news generated by VW PR departement and Bloomberg took the bait.

Or Bloomberg used it as click-bait to generate ad revenue.

So indeed, it is the next version of the E-UP which is going to be the $21000 EV from VW. In Trump’s voice: Nobody knew… well some users did figure out which model it would be.

Auto-bild has a picture of how next UP will look. The taller style will make it easier to have a high-floor with space for full floor battery and still have decent high back seats.


Cute! In grey doesn’t look very good but it would be nice in colours such as red, blue or even green =) And most importantly, if price and range are confirmed, well, this can’t come soon enough. It could even steal the show from the much more talked and re-talked ID Neo.

Did you see the other picture of an UP-SUV in red? I think the cross-over in gray looks better.


This last pic isn’t an anticipation of the next e-Up! like the other but of another compact SUV, probably the T-Cross which they launched not far ago and doesn’t differ so much from that image. Or another car but surely not the next e-Up! ☺

Doesn’t look like it has a different body shape than the current Up!… The way I read the comment, the “cross” variant will simply have higher suspension, not actually a different body. The larger battery capacity is probably just due to higher-density cells, not because of a better platform.

Pretty sure they said it’ll be a sub-compact originally. So it isn’t exactly a surprise.

No talk about the range, size, power, what an incomplete talk from a VWs higher official. This is what makes us believe that this company will never sell it.

What’s wrong in selling it in USA. Chevy Spark-EV sold fairly well despite so much hesitation from GM and selling it in just few states. I believe it was sold only in California, Oregon and Maryland and in Canada, Korea; yet they sold 8,000 units.

VW E-Up being a dedicated EV when sold in all 50 states will certainly be a sales success at $21,000 price tag.

You’re not getting it because:
A: you don’t have a policy that forces automakers to compensate for the emissions of their ICE cars like in the EU.
B: VW is actually selling at a loss, but does so in order to be compliant with EU.

Because they are not producing in a volume, because they don’t intend to do so, because they are interested in selling only vehicles that run on petrol/diesel.

I don’t think they sell this at a loss, but I’m sure the profit margins are fairly small.
They have a lot of economy of scale components in this vehicle that they share with multiple VW, Skoda, Seat and Audi models. They will even sell the EV model as a VW, Skoda and Seat.
Also.. they have to sell more of this model, to reduce the over all CO2 emissions of their cars.

I think it’s too bad it is not for sale in the US, since it is cheap, practical and a proper small electric car – for those that don’t need any more. Will be interesting to see how many they plan to produce every year of this model.
The current model is like the fifth best selling EV or something in Norway.
If they offer an updated product at a low price, it is a given it will sell well.

Is this the vehicle that VW claimed to have 1/2 the price of Model-3.

Here are the dimensions of 2 vehicles.
Metric:mm (L * W * H)
VW E-Up: 3600 1645 1489 = 8.817 cubic meters.
Model-3: 4693.92 1932.94 1442.72 = 13.089 cubic meter.

VW E-Up: 141.7 64.8 58.6 = 538,099 cubic inches.
Model-3: 184.8 76.1 56.8 = 798,794 cubic inches.

This puts VW E-Up @ 67% of the cubic volume as Model-3.

E-Up has 85 miles range while Model-3 has 250 miles which means E-Up has just 33% range.

While Model-3 is a luxury vehicle at 0-60 mph / 0-100 km/h at 5.6 seconds, E-Up has the same pickup at 12.4 seconds.

E-Up is certainly not even worth $21,000 with these smaller dimensions, paltry range and slow pickup.
Lets hope Model-3 is launched in Europe sooner.

What elese you expect from VW?

Good for Europeans and VAG as it will be very popular here if the specs make sense, but by no means a competitor to Tesla, for Tesla doesn’t make econoboxes (yet).