VW may team up with Renault on €20,000 electric car, says daily

BERLIN: Volkswagen is speaking with potential partners, including France's Renault, about cooperating on the development of its €20,000 (RM101,000) electric car, Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The German carmaker is interested in cooperating on a platform for the car that it hopes will make battery-powered vehicles affordable for the masses, Handelsblatt reported.

Talks with Renault are still "at a very early stage" and could come to nothing, Handelsblatt cited the sources as saying.

Annual production of 200,000 to 250,000 vehicles is the target for both partners together, according to Handelsblatt.

Volkswagen declined to comment on the report.

A spokesman for Renault said that cooperation was necessary to be competitive with small-entry electric vehicles.

"We are in different discussions but nothing has been finalised," said the spokesman.

European carmakers have stepped up efforts to bring more affordable electric vehicles to market as they face increased competition from US carmaker Tesla and cheaper Chinese models.

The average retail price of an EV in Europe in the first half of 2023 was over €65,000 (RM327,000), according to autos research firm JATO Dynamics, compared to just over €31,000 (RM156,000) in China.

Renault last month announced the launch of a new EV Twingo, called Legend, at less than €20,000, with finance chief Thierry Pieton saying the aim was to democratise the EV market, while Volkswagen in March laid out the details of an all-EV under development for €25,000 (RM126,000), to launch by 2025.

The German firm said at the time it was also working on a €20,000 vehicle, but did not provide further information.

Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume said last month that the company had not made a decision on producing the car yet but he was convinced it could get there by the second half of the decade.
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