The official range of the e-UP! is 159 miles, which is enough to get you from London to Brighton and back, or from London to Leeds one way without needing to stop. Perhaps more usefully, it could also equal a week’s worth of 30 mile commutes with no need to plug in. That could make it a practical proposition for drivers who don’t have off-street parking. Just top up once a week when you go shopping or to the gym.
Bear in mind though that this range will be affected by all sorts of factors and will be significantly shorter in cold weather or if you are driving quickly on motorways.
The e-up!'s battery is 32.3kWh, which a big improvement over earlier cars that had just 18kWh. It can't quite match the capacities of the recently arrived Vauxhall Corsa-e and Peugeot e208 (both have 45kWh usable batteries), but it will be big enough for most.
The e-up! can be DC rapid charged at a maximum of 40kW. That would have been okay-ish a few years back when all rapid chargers were 50kW, but considering the up!'s rivals can mostly charge at 100kW speeds. that speed is disappointing.
Slow charging via a home wallbox or post is also surprisingly slow. For cost reasons, Volkswagen has only equipped with e-up! with a 2.3kW AC charger. In mainland Europe where three-phase domestic electric supplies are common, this means the e-up! can charge at 7kW. However, in the UK, where almost all domestic supplies are 3.6kW, e-up! owners will only be able to charge at a much lower rate. As a result, the e-up! will take around 16 hours to charge.