VW shows €25,000 EV to compete where Tesla has left an opening

By BLOOMBERG | 16 March 2023

HAMBURG: Volkswagen AG unveiled an affordable electric vehicle that’s a couple years away from production, putting Europe’s largest carmaker on a collision course with Tesla Inc.

The compact ID. 2all concept previews a car costing less than €25,000 (RM120,000) that VW is readying for the European market in 2025.

The maker of the Golf hatchback - which was knocked off its perch atop sales charts last year - said Wednesday the EV will be as spacious as that model and as inexpensive as the Polo.

"We are implementing the transformation at pace to bring electric mobility to the masses,” VW brand chief Thomas Schäfer said in a statement.

Volkswagen ID. 2all concept car

Volkswagen urgently needs a people’s car for the electric age. It’s struggled to keep pace with Tesla’s EVs and needs to halt sales declines in China, where domestic manufacturers led by BYD Co. have stepped up their game.

An electric model that comes even remotely close to the success of the Golf - VW has produced more than 35 million units - would do wonders for the brand.

The ID. 2all’s debut in Hamburg adds to a busy week for VW.

On Monday, the German company announced plans to build a battery factory in Canada - its first outside Europe and the country’s biggest-ever auto investment.

Volkswagen ID. 2all concept car

On Tuesday, the manufacturer increased its rolling five-year spending plan some 13% to €180 billion (RM860bil), with more than two-thirds going to software and EVs.

While Tesla has dominated the first phase of the EV shift, chief executive officer Elon Musk has left an opening for incumbents by taking time to pad out the company’s lineup.

Tesla last launched a new passenger vehicle - the Model Y - in 2020, and it’s only made minor cosmetic changes to the Model 3 since the sedan went into production almost six years ago.

It’s unclear when the US$25,000 (RM113,000) model Musk first teased in 2020 will be ready.

Volkswagen ID. 2all concept car

The ID. 2all boasts 450km of range, driver-assistance features and an overhauled in-car infotainment system.

VW said the front-wheel drive vehicle takes design cues from the Polo, Golf and Beetle. The production version will be based on the new MEB Entry platform.

Building an EV affordable enough for the mass market has been the auto industry’s white whale.

With batteries remaining expensive and EV production still scaling up, cheap electric cars have mostly been limited to short-range mini models in China that are unlikely to catch on in most of the rest of the world.

Volkswagen ID. 2all concept car

The production version of the ID. 2all is one of 10 new electric models that will be launched by Volkswagen by 2026.

VW’s existing lineup of EVs includes the ID.3 sedan, ID.4 and ID.5 sport utility vehicles and the ID. Buzz minibus.

It’s going to introduce an updated version of the ID.3, a long-wheelbase ID. Buzz and an ID.7 saloon this year and is also working on an electric model priced below €20,000 (RM96,000).

2023-03-16 13_23_12-World premiere of the ID. 2all concept_ the electric car from Volkswagen costing

Volkswagen ID. 2all concept car

Volkswagen ID. 2all concept car

The basis for the Volkswagen ID. 2all is the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) with front-wheel drive.

Low centre of gravity and front-wheel drive - the best possible economy of space in the compact ID. 2all.

Low centre of gravity and front-wheel drive - the best possible economy of space in the compact ID. 2all.