Volkswagen Has a Low-priced EV Plan to Keep Rivals At Bay: Report

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Volkswagen doesn’t want competitors unsurping its electric car efforts, so there’s a plan afoot to give buyers what they want at a much lower price, sources claim. Two reports, citing those with knowledge of a strategy not yet approved by the automaker’s supervisory board, state the company plans to go cheaper than its upcoming line of I.D.-badged EVs.

How cheap, you ask? How about $21,000?

That’s the price stated by Bloomberg in its late-Thursday report, with sources claiming the vehicle — a subcompact crossover — would enter production in 2020, likely at VW’s Emden, Germany assembly plant. Production would total 200,000 vehicles per year.

VW’s first MEB-platform electric vehicle, called the I.D. Neo (seen above), is also headed for a 2020 production start date, with the company claiming the hatchback will start around $26,000. Slotting a new, cheaper vehicle below that would help cover VW Group’s bases. While the report cites Tesla as a main competitor, the yet-undelivered base Model 3 carries a price of $35,000 in the U.S. and wouldn’t be any less costly in Europe. With this entry-level EV, VW would be guarding its back door against the likes of Renault and other affordable, mainstream automakers.

A report in Reuters states pretty much the same thing, with a source saying the new vehicle would cost less than 20,000 euros (or less than $22,836). All of this is designed to protect VW’s massive domestic workforce from dastardly, diesel-hating lawmakers and cunning automotive rivals. VW is expected to lay out the plan at a Nov. 16 strategy meeting.

With VW’s product horizon filling up with EVs, plant capacity becomes a problem. While the automaker still makes internal combustion cars and light trucks, not all of those models need to be produced in Germany. Production of VW’s Transporter van could make its way to a Ford plant in Turkey, a source claimed. Ah, the Ford connection rears its head again.

A slew of reports in recent days suggest the VW-Ford partnership could take a number of forms, and it’s not out of the question that VW would grant its American counterpart access to its MEB electric architecture. In addition to a light commercial vehicle pair-up, the German automaker also seems interested in the Ford Ranger platform.

[Image: Volkswagen]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
6 of 44 comments
  • Tylanner Tylanner on Nov 09, 2018

    EVs are a global mandate....Funny how in many of the efforts to boil this prospect down to the essentials invariably omit the only factors that really matter.... The EV problems presented are often made from a position of self-prescribed ignorance...a fatal partiality. These are targeted at daily EVs range only limits the population of commuters for which the product is applicable. In fact, I would argue that an EV with a shorter range (smaller battery) has a place in the market...if your commute is only 20 miles each way it wouldn’t make sense to carry 200 extra miles worth of battery mass each way everyday...some people cannot grasp the simple foundation of what makes EVs benefitial... The ICE is not the’s the dinosaur.

    • See 3 previous
    • Mcs Mcs on Nov 09, 2018

      @stingray65 "you only use the middle 50% to 60% of capacity to avoid premature degradation" Not really true with current technology. I'd say the top 70 percent is fine, but... that may be because manufacturers are putting in extra capacity at the top to give the illusion of a 100% charge. That comes from my own personal experience and Tesloops 300k and 400k mile Teslas. I've made long trips in subzero Fahrenheit temps in a 100-mile range Leaf. I think the first leg was just under 50 miles and the second 35 and the temp was -4. Can't remember the exact numbers. But, still, a 50-mile range out of it at highway speeds. Recently, at 30 degrees Fahrenheit, I think I'm seeing a drop to 82 miles range. Speed was 60 mph most of the way on a 55 mph road with some 65 mph driving as well. This is on a Leaf mileage in the mid 70k's. So, they've made some improvements in the batteries from what was in the Leaf 1.0. Also, I have no problem charging to 100% every time for the last 70k+ miles. Tesloop charges to 100% as well and they haven't had major degradation either.

  • ThomasSchiffer ThomasSchiffer on Nov 09, 2018

    My city car is a compact 1993 Renault Twingo. It is a cheap, disposable car that has gone through four owners but continues to serve me well. However, with the current CO2 hysteria here I may soon be forced to get rid of this reliable but ‘highly polluting’ (according to our hysterical virtue signaling politicians) car. An EV for the city would be wonderful, such as a Renault Zoe with a range of 180-316 km. The e-Golf or better yet the smaller but roomy e-Up! are also interesting EVs.

  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.
  • The Oracle These are all over the roads in droves here in WNC. Rarely see one on the side of the road, they are wildly popular, capable, and reliable. There is a market for utilitarian vehicles.