The Volkswagen MEB compact car in Polo size planned for less than 20,000 euros will probably not go into series production before 2023 – according to a British media outlet quoting Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess.
++ Kindly find an update to this article below. ++
At the IAA, the CEO of the world’s largest carmaker told the magazine Autocar that the small electric car makes “a lot of sense” from an ecological point of view. He then added that it was unlikely that the production version will be launched before 2023.
The Polo-format VW electric car will apparently have the serial version ID.1 and will be accompanied by a compact SUV called ID.2, which will also follow in 2023 or 2024 at the latest. Volkswagen has had the model designations ID.1 to ID.9 and ID.1X to ID.9X protected, and there is some speculation that the “X” will be used for SUV models or their four-wheel-drive variants.
Volkswagen first wants to release larger MEB models such as the ID.Crozz (probably as ID.4) and then only later bring out a smaller electric car primarily for cost reasons. “There’s a long way to go. It’s really tough to get a decent range for a car under €20,000,” Diess said.
Sales director Jürgen Stackmann confirmed that the already known studies of the Crozz-, Buzz-, Vizzion- and Roomz are to become the next production vehicles based on MEB. “In the long term we clearly need to scale down and be more aggressive on prices,” Stackmann told Autocar regarding the smaller MEB-based small electric car. “That will be a scale of industrialisation, and it will take some time until we bring it into classes,” he explained.
Autocar is now speculating on a range of “more than 300 kilometres”. For cost reasons, the ID.1 will “probably only offered with front-wheel drive” – as opposed to the ID.3 which has a rear-engine, while it is also technically possible to get a four-wheel-drive version with an additional front engine.
There was already speculation last autumn about the Polo-sized electric car – reports at the time mentioned quantities of up to 200,000 units per year and the Emden plant as a probable production location. The Autocar article maintains that the ID.1 will be built in Emden, Germany, saying that there is no indication that the new entry-level model for IDs will be produced in any of the other German Volkswagen factories. Outside of Europe, there are apparently rumours in that the ID.1 could serve as the basis for a new model from Volkswagen’s China joint venture SOL with JAC that the two companies founded in 2018.
Update 14 October 2019: VW chief strategist Michael Jost confirmed the plans for the brand’s low-priced electric car. He said: “We are working on an e-city car that costs less than 20,000 euros. We want to launch such a vehicle 2023/2024.” The manager also offered some technical detail. The new EV will sit on a technically reduced version of the MEB platform and offer as much interior space as a T-Cross. Expect a range of 220 to 250 km. Production is to be set in Bratislava with a target to build up to 200,000 vehicles per year.