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VW Group teases affordable EV hatchbacks

Electric city cars from VW, Skoda and Cupra to enter production in 2025

16 May 2022

VOLKSWAGEN Group has announced a push into affordable compact electric vehicles, with its upcoming Polo-sized ID.2 electric hatch to spawn Skoda- and Cupra-badged models, all three of which are expected to be priced from €20,000 (A$30,000).


The German car-making giant last week tweeted teaser images of the trio, which will share a smaller version of Volkswagen’s MEB EV platform.


In the tweet, VW promised the “entry-level electric vehicles make access to #eMobility easier and push the country’s future of mobility – for generations to come”.


The teaser sketches reveal the Skoda model, which will be about the size of the Fabia hatchback, will be penned in line with the Czech-brand’s ‘Modern Solid’ design language, while the Cupra appears to echo the Urban Rebel Concept first revealed in September 2021.


It appears the ID.2’s silhouette will in keeping with the conventionally-styled ID.3 hatchback rather than the boxy Volkswagen ID.Life Concept, which was touted as an ID.2 (and ID.1 crossover) preview when unveiled at the 2021 Munich motor show in September.


As reported by GoAuto in March, the ID.Life’s chunky retro styling fell out of favour at Wolfsburg after the head of Volkswagen design Jozef Kabaň and his team decided to shift their focus toward a more modern aesthetic to “lure young customers who want a highly connected vehicle in the €20,000 range”. 


The three models will enter production in Spain from 2025, with that country to become a centre for VW Group’s EV production thanks to the company’s €10 billion (A$15 billion) investment that includes a new battery ‘gigafactory’ in Sagunto near Valencia, which will supply EV plants in Martorell and Pamplona.


No other details have been revealed but if the ID.Life is any guide, a 400km WTLP range and zippy 6.9-second 0-100km/h performance are expected, with power drawn from a 57kWh battery module stowed beneath the passenger compartment floor. 


With the EV market becoming dominated by SUV models mostly priced beyond A$60,000, mainstream adoption will require car-makers to revisit the compact EV segment previously occupied by cars such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Renault Zoe and first-generation Nissan Leaf.


Speaking to an online audience at the Financial Times Future of the Car conference last week, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said the fact that making big cars is more profitable than small cars presented challenges, particularly with EV production.


“But now is the right time to come with the small cars by 2025.”


The battery plant, and the new technology it will bring, will play a significant role in keeping costs down, as will the flexibility of the MEB platform to get the smaller EVs down to a price point compatible with internal combustion-powered light passenger vehicles.


It remains to be seen how the affordable threesome will help Volkswagen achieve its ambitious target of 70 percent EV market share in Europe and 50 percent in North America and China by 2030.

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