The traditional German automaker Volkswagen has chosen Uruguay as the first country in Latin America to receive its assortment of fully electricity-powered models, it was announced during a ceremony which was attended by President Luis Lacalle Pou.
So far, only some hybrid models had been sold in Argentina (Touareg Hybrid) and Brazil (Golf GTE).
VW South America CEO, the Argentine executive Pablo Di Si, handed over the keys to the first 10 VW e-Up! Two of those first units will be transferred to the Uruguayan Industry Ministry to form be a part of its fleet of vehicles.
The e-Up! is made in Europe and is not to be confused with the Brazilian-made Up! which was sold until last year in Argentina. The e-Up has 32 kWh batteries and an electric motor that delivers 82 horsepower and 210 Nm of torque (for comparison, the Brazilian Up! 1.0 Turbo had 101 hp and 165 Nm). It accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 11.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 135 km / h for a maximum range of 255 kilometers. The batteries are lithium-ion and can be fully recharged in six hours, using a WallBox.
In August of last year, an e-Up! arrived at the VW Argentina plant in Pacheco to carry out “tests to evaluate its possible local commercialization.” However, the brand chose Uruguay to launch it locally. Di Si explained that “we have chosen Uruguay to launch the first 100% electric vehicle of the VW brand in Latin America. And why Uruguay? First of all, I want to congratulate the public policy of decades in Uruguay. I have seen few countries in Latin America that have the renewable energy that Uruguay has: it is a public policy and a strategic vision that was launched several decades ago. I also want to thank and highlight our partner, the Lestido family, who for 71 years have defended VW in Uruguay as if it were their own. We bring the e-Up! democratizing electrification: they are almost 260 kilometers of autonomy, for a vehicle that can be charged both at home and in all the possible outlets that we tested for two years in Uruguay. It is a country with an infrastructure that works very well.”
Uruguay is the smallest country in South America and does not have its own oil production: today, 98% of the electrical energy that supplies the country comes from renewable sources, such as solar and wind energy. In addition, the country has one of the highest densities of chargers for electric cars in the world: among the most distant chargers there are no more than 100 kilometers.
The first 10 VW e-Up! that were presented in Uruguay will carry out 12 thousand test kilometers each. Upon completion of that trial, marketing to the public will begin.
Uruguay was chosen by Volkswagen to launch its electrification strategy in Latin America
This is part of the brand's global strategy, which envisages carbon neutrality by 2050. The e-Up! is the first fully electric Volkswagen model to be introduced in the region
At the initiative of Julio César Lestido S.A., Volkswagen agreed with the company to carry out a study to market 100% electric vehicles in Uruguay. This was a seven-year process.
Uruguay has received the first 10 electric units that will have to carry out a field test. Once this phase is completed, the vehicles will be inspected by Volkswagen Germany technicians and, with their approval, Uruguay will be enabled to market electric vehicles.