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PHOTO CAPTION: VW E-Up! electric car slates for limited production starting in 2013.

Volkswagen's New Electric Beetle

The VW E-Up! prototype is powered by 500 lbs (226kg) of lithium ion batteries, giving it a urban driving range up to 70 miles.

Published: 17-Sep-2009

FRANKFURT --Volkswagen’s squat, snub-nosed E-Up looks nothing like the Beetle, the New Beetle, or most other superminis at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but it’s clear that VW expects it to be the people’s car for 2020 and beyond.

With the E-Up, batteries are included, as is the promise that it will be roadworthy and on sale by 2013 — and proliferate by 2020. Martin Winterkorn, VW’s chief executive, said the E-Up “very realistically shows how we envision such a Volkswagen with pure electric drive, technically, visually and with regard to size.”

The E-Up is laden with about 500 pounds of lithium-ion battery and scoots from zero to 60 in just over 11 seconds. But don’t expect extended scoots: when fully charged, the cells last for about 70 miles.

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