Volkswagen signs off sub-£18,000 2022 electric ‘people’s car’

T-Roc-sized big-range crossover will be the fifth model in VW’s new ID range of EVs when it arrives in 2022.

Volkswagen is set to launch an affordable new entry-level electric vehicle as part of a modern-day ‘people’s car’ project. The compact five-seater is described as a crossover utility vehicle with raised ride height and exterior dimensions similar to the existing combustion-engined T-Roc. It will be part of Volkswagen’s upcoming line-up of ID battery-powered models that will kick off with the launch of the Neo hatchback in 2020.

Volkswagen signs off sub-£18,000 electric ‘people’s car’

Volkswagen signs off sub-£18,000 electric ‘people’s car’

The company is aiming for the new ID model to go on sale in 2022 at a price chairman Herbert Diess indicates could be as low as €20,000, or just £17,500 in the UK.

The keen pricing for what will be the fifth ID model after the Neo and production versions of the Crozz, Buzz and Vizzion concepts is a crucial component in a broader plan at Volkswagen to create a contemporary new electric-powered people’s car. Such a move would be aimed at mirroring the success of the original Beetle and its indirect successor, the Golf.

Diess, the architect of Volkswagen’s electric car strategy, recently claimed that engineers are working on a car conceived to be priced at half that of the Tesla Model 3 and suggested it would be on sale within four years.

Drive-My has been told the idea behind the new ID model is to create a car with classless design appeal, outstanding interior space within a compact footprint and the sort of affordability that allows it to appeal to a wide number of buyers in all of Volkswagen’s existing markets.

As with Volkswagen’s other ID models, it is based around the company’s new MEB (Modularer Elektrobaukasten – modular electric architecture) platform with a front-mounted electric motor together with a battery of sufficient capacity to provide a range well over the claimed 186 miles of today’s e-Golf. To keep the price down, it will likely be offered exclusively in front-wheel-drive guise, with a series of connectivity features offered as optional equipment. Together with the primary Volkswagen version, the new zero-emission five-door crossover has been conceived to sire similar models from Audi, Seat and Skoda. Production will take place at Volkswagen’s Emden manufacturing plant in Germany, a site that currently produces the Passat and Arteon, with capacity set to top 300,000 units a year.

Insiders at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg headquarters suggest plans are to switch production of the next-generation Passat and Arteon to Skoda’s Kvasiny plant run in the Czech Republic, which currently builds the Superb, or possibly even a brand new greenfield site in Bulgaria. The decision to use the Emden plant for the production of the junior ID models means Volkswagen will have installed capacity for well over one million electric vehicles by 2022, with its existing Zwickau and Hannover commercial vehicle plants in Germany as well as joint venture factories in China.

At this stage, there is no indication whether the new entry-level ID model will be assembled in other factories, though rumours in China suggest it could form the basis of a new joint venture model to be produced between Volkswagen and JAC (Anhui Jianghuai Automobile) under the new SOL electric vehicle sub-brand.

As well as eyeing private and business sales of the latest ID model, Volkswagen is believed to have drawn up plans to use it as the basis for a global mobility project under its newly formed Moia subsidiary, which is developing ride-sharing schemes and other mobility solutions. Volkswagen Group plans to launch a total of 27 MEB-based models across its four brands – Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda – by 2025.

“The idea is to create a car with classless design appeal and outstanding interior space”

New ID model will join Neo, Crozz, Vizzion and Buzz. Original Beetle has inspired VW’s latest populist car. Entry-level EV could spawn Audi, Seat and Skoda versions.

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