Volkswagen’s sub-£18,000 small EV due in 2023

Volkswagen is committed to launching an entry-level sub-£18,000 electric ID ‘people’s car’ – but company boss Herbert Diess has admitted there is a long way to go before it can offer enough range to make it viable.

Autocar exclusively revealed the firm’s plans to develop an entry level small hatchback on its new MEB architecture earlier this year. The machine, set to be called the ID 1 or 2 in keeping with the numbering convention for the firm’s new electric car range, will be comparable in size to the Volkswagen Polo. 

Frankfurt motor show 2019: live news and updates

Volkswagen has set a price target of under €20,000 euros for the machine. Speaking at this year’s Frankfurt motor show, where VW unveiled the Golf-sized ID 3 and a major brand revamp, Diess said the small car “make a lot of sense” from an environmental standpoint. But he said the production version was unlikely to arrive before 2023.

But he added: “There’s a long way to go. It’s really tough to get a decent range for a car under €20,000.”

When Volkswagen confirmed the nomenclature for its ID range at the pre-booking launch of the ID 3, sales boss Jurgen Stackmann noted that calling the first Golf-sized model the 3 allowed for the range to be expanded with both smaller and larger models.

With the Golf-sized model taking the ID 3 tag, the Polo-sized entry level car will be called the ID 1, and accompanied by an ID 2 compact crossover SUV.

Stackmann noted that the larger ID models, based on the already seen Crozz (set to be called the ID 4), Buzz, Vizzion and Roomzz concepts, would be the next cars to reach production, but emphasised the firm’s commitment to making genuinely affordable electric cars.

As well as eyeing private and business sales of the new price leading I.D. model, Volkswagen is believed to have drawn up plans to use it as the basis for a global mobility project under its newly formed Moia subsidiary, which is developing ride-sharing schemes and other mobility solutions.

Volkswagen plans to launch a total of 27 MEB-based models across its four brands – Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda – by 2025.

Additional reporting by Greg Kable