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Four-seat VW Space Up! Blue to debut in LA

Automotive columnist: , Updated:

It's the only vehicle out there with an exclamation mark in its name, but VW has something to be excited about with their Space Up! Blue concept. Set to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, Space Up! Blue is a world exclusive concept with an eye for environmental friendliness and the future of transportation.

Volkswagen describes it as a confident four-seater of about the same size as their Samba Bus, though it produces no emissions and can drive solely on battery power delivered to its 45 kilowatt motor.

On board the Space Up! Blue is the world's first High-Temperature Fuel-Cell (HT FC) working with an array of 12 lithium-ion batteries. The high-temperature setup is smaller, lighter, less expensive and more viable than a normal fuel-cell, VW says.

Batteries in the green microvan can be refueled by an electrical outlet or the HT FC. In either case, range is as high as 220 miles from a single charge. Additionally, Space Up! Can be recharged by the sun's energy with a large, roof-mounted solar panel providing an additional 150 watts of juice to the battery.

Los Angeles Auto Show runs Nov 14 to 25.