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VW e-Up Latest Electric Car To Offer Gasoline Backup Loaner

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Volkswagen won't be offering its e-Up electric car in the U.S, but with small dimensions and that clean electric drivetrain, it could be the ideal city car for European buyers.

Even range doesn't matter that much when you're driving around the city, but Volkswagen recognizes that some drivers may need to head further afield.

Like some other automakers, the German maker will give e-Up owners access to a gasoline-powered car when they need to make longer trips.

According to Auto Express, e-Up drivers will get 30 days free use of a conventionally-powered car for those occasional days when a 93-mile electric car isn't quite enough.

That means if drivers need to go on holiday or simply require a larger vehicle to shift furniture about, they won't be stuck with the e-Up--and won't need to go elsewhere to rent a vehicle.

The 30 days will be absolutely free, though Auto Express does note an "undisclosed mileage limit" before charges apply.

Priced at nearly $32,000 even after the UK government's $8,200 plug-in car grant, the e-Up certainly isn't a cheap small electric car--it's over $9,500 more than Renault's larger Zoe electric subcompact. Even considering the Renault's hefty battery rental costs, the e-Up's pricing is still robust--and perks like free access to other cars could be what is needed to sell it.

BMW has previously announced a similar loaner system for drivers of its i3 electric cars, allowing owners access to other models from the BMW range when they i3 may not be suitable. Fiat is doing likewise in the U.S, with 12 days of free loaner use.

For some, these rentals are proof that manufacturers aren't really confident in the ability of their electric cars, but many see them as the ideal solution to those occasional longer journeys we all make--while ensuring the vast majority of our trips are handled by the greenest, cleanest vehicles available.

What do our readers think?

Are manufacturer-provided rental vehicles the ideal solution to low-range electric cars, for those occasional trips? Or are they illustrative of the limitations of current electric vehicles?

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