Volkswagen up! set to become electric only

The Volkswagen up! will become an electric-only car with petrol versions set to be ditched, the carmaker has confirmed

The Volkswagen up! is set to become an electric-only vehicle, after company bosses confirmed that new laws and rising costs will force it to kill-off its petrol city car offering.

Our sister title Auto Express reports that the future of the up! has been bleak for a while, with the car failing to meet Volkswagen’s profit targets.

The company’s sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackman said there would not be “a single business case for cars the size of the up!” if forthcoming emissions regulations are brought into effect as planned.

“The cars are too small to carry high technology and a normal combustion engine is just impossible to reach the required CO2 levels,” he explained. “So in theory you’d have to sell an electric car to compensate for the problem of a [conventional] up! where the margin is already thin.”

As a result, Volkswagen is “working to give a second life to the e-up!”, which had its UK order books closed back in January due to increasing lead times. Just 27 e-up!s were sold in Britain in 2018.

Once back on sale, the e-up! will remain the German carmaker’s entry point to electric motoring. Stackman confirmed that it isn’t possible for the car to move over to the company’s new MEB platform, meaning it won’t become part of the forthcoming I.D. range of electric vehicles.

The first of those cars - the I.D. hatchback - is set to arrive later in 2019.