Volkswagen mulls $21K EV with Renault, but don’t get too excited

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European automakers are looking to affordable EVs to help boost demand. The latest may be a 20,000 euro ($21,500) EV from Volkswagen and Renault.

Volkswagen is seeking partners to build an EV under 20,000 euros ($21,500), including Renault.

According to a new report from the German newspaper Handelsblatt, the automakers aim to produce 200,000-250,000 units per year.

The report claims Volkswagen is already in talks about building a platform for the vehicle, citing several people familiar with the matter.

VW hopes an affordable EV will fuel adoption. However, the talks with Renault are still in a “very early stage,” the report notes. Volkswagen had no comment on the partnership with Renault.

A spokesperson from Renault said collaborating on entry-level EVs was necessary to be competitive. “We are in different discussions but nothing has been finalised,” they added.

The news comes as several automakers revealed plans to launch affordable EVs. Automakers like VW and Renault face pressure from Chinese EV makers like BYD and SAIC’s MG in Europe and other overseas markets.

BYD Dolphin EV (Source: BYD)

Volkswagen and Renault consider an affordable EV model

Tesla is working on a “low-cost” vehicle. Kia is another company aiming for the entry-level EV segment. The South Korean automaker revealed several new affordable electric models during its annual EV day, starting at around $30,000.

The brand also launched its EV5 in China last month, starting at about $20,000 (149,800 yuan).

VW ID.3 (left) and ID.4 (right) Source: Volkswagen

Renault also announced the launch of the Twingo e-Tech successor, the Legend. It’s expected to start at under 20,000 euros ($21,500).

Meanwhile, Volkswagen released plans to launch an entry-level EV of its own in March. The ID 2all is as spacious as the VW Golf and inexpensive as the Polo. VW brand CEO Thomas Shafer says the concept is “where we want to take the brand,” with expected prices of around 25,000 euros ($27,000).

Volkswagen ID 2all electric vehicle concept (Source: Volkswagen)

The concept will sit below the ID. 3 with an expected 280 miles (450 km) WLTP range. It will be based on a new entry-level MEB platform with FWD.

Other reports suggest VW is working on an even cheaper 20,000 euro EV, dubbed the ID 1. It will likely share components with the ID 2all, including 38 or 58 kWh battery options. The entry-level ID 2all will be one of ten new VW EVs launched over the next three years.

Electrek’s Take

Europe’s largest automaker faces increased pressure from Tesla and low-cost EVs like BYD’s Dolphin (pictured above), starting at around $33,000 in the UK.

That’s about $13.5K less than Volkswagen’s ID 3, starting at £37,115 ($46,500). VW CEO Oliver Blume said at a conference last month that a 20,000 euro ($21,500) EV is possible by the latter part of the decade.

Blume pointed to lower battery cost as the main driver. He also said advances in unified battery cells will cut battery costs in half, the most expensive part of an EV.

Meanwhile, these models are not expected to come until 2025 at the earliest. By then, VW risks falling further behind.

Source: Reuters

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