Is Volkswagen launching an affordable EV? At a conference Wednesday, the automaker’s CEO, Oliver Blume, said an electric car priced around $22,000 (20,000 euros) is possible by the latter part of the decade.
Blume explained that reducing battery costs will be the main driver in lower EV prices during a Berlin conference, as Reuters reported.
He pointed to advances in unified battery cells that VW claims will cut battery costs in half. Volkswagen unveiled the new battery cells during its Power Day in 2021. The company said the flexibility will enable use in up to 80% of all VW Group EV models.
The unified cells will be made at its factory in Salzgitter beginning in 2025. In the future, VW plans for the plant to reach 40 GWh annual capacity or enough for 500,000 vehicles.
“We have a responsibility to bring the right products at the right price onto the market,” Blume said Wednesday.
Volkswagen unveiled plans for its cheapest EV yet, the ID 2all concept, in March as it looks to compete with market leaders like Tesla and China’s BYD. The ID 2all will start at under 25,000 euros (roughly $27K), with up to 450 km (279 mi) range.
Volkswagen plans an even cheaper $22K electric car
The production version of the ID 2all will be unveiled for Europe in 2025. It will be based on the MEB Entry platform as one of ten new models launching by 2026.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen revealed it was also working on an electric car priced under $22K (20,000 euros).
The project, tipped to be called the ID 1, will be the smallest, most affordable VW electric model yet. According to Autocar, the electric car will be similar in size to the gas-powered Polo (it could also carry its name).
The Polo is 156″ long, 66″ wide, and about 58″ tall, so the new electric model will likely be in that range.
CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Thomas Shafer, previously said: “The Polo is very successful and one of our icons, and we’re going to use that vehicle concept in the future as well.”
The ID 1 will likely share parts with the ID 2all, including a choice between a 38 kWh or 58 kWh battery. For the price, VW could offer an even smaller battery.
Blume said at the conference Wednesday, “After early adopters were reached with electric cars, we now need consumers to be convinced by the technology, who don’t have the opportunity to install a charging station at home.”
Volkswagen detailed the ID 2all with fast charging capabilities (10%-80%) in 20 mins. The company has yet to provide further details on the model.
The news comes days after Reinhard Fischer, head of strategy at VW Group America, said the automaker aims to build an EV under $35,000 in the US or Mexico.
Several automakers are promising to release affordable electric cars. Stellantis-owned Citroen unveiled its C3 electric city car, starting at around $24,500 (23,300 euros). The company is calling it “The first European affordable electric car.” An even more affordable version will launch in 2025, priced around 19,990 euros ($21,000).
Renault’s subsidiary, Amphere, is also teasing an upcoming EV, the Legend, with starting prices under €20,000.
Maybe an affordable Volkswagen electric car is coming after all. Then again, it could just be more talk as the automaker faces mounting pressure in the EV market.
Volkswagen halted EV production at two German plants last week after a series of output cuts over the past few months. The stoppage is impacting electric models, including the ID.4, ID.7, and Audi Q4 e-tron.
The company blamed a lack of electric motors as the reason. However, as CFO Arno Antilitz explained, following the company’s Q3 earnings, EV orders were down to 150,000. That’s 50% lower than last year’s total of 300,000.
Blume claimed rising inflation and the end of subsidies were holding back demand. Meanwhile, EV leaders, including Tesla and BYD, cutting prices has forced rivals to follow suit.
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