Volkswagen's smallest electric vehicle at present is the ID.3 compact hatchback but it starts at more than 35,000 euros (approximately $41,500) in most markets where it's sold, putting it out of reach for buyers on a budget.
VW is committed to making electric mobility affordable and used this week's Munich auto show to preview an EV due in 2025 that will start at around 20,000 euros. The preview came in the form of a concept dubbed the ID.Life.
The concept is a battery-electric subcompact crossover and in production will likely go by the name ID.2. An even smaller ID.1 hatchback may also form part of VW's EV portfolio at some point, though VW is yet to confirm such a vehicle for production.
The ID.2 is based on Volkswagen Group's MEB platform designed for mainstream EVs and features a single electric motor at the front axle generating a peak 230 hp, or enough for 0-62 mph acceleration in 6.9 seconds. A 57-kilowatt-hour battery sits in the floor and provides a range of about 250 miles on the WLTP cycle used outside the U.S. This should measure about 200 miles when rated by the EPA.
To ensure prices can remain in check, VW has kept the design as simple as possible to avoid producton complexity. Essential driving functions are controlled via a touch panel on the steering wheel, and a smartphone can be used for the navigation and infotainment system. Additional features can then be added, at extra cost, for anyone who needs them. VW has hinted at features like a large screen for watching movies or playing video games.
VW will also be able to benefit from economies of scale by having similar vehicles to the ID.Life launched by other VW Group brands. There's a good chance Audi launches a related vehicle dubbed the A2, and Spain's Cupra also used the Munich auto show to present an MEB-based electric subcompact crossover concept in the form of the UrbanRebel (shown above). The Cupra concept is also confirmed to spawn a production model in 2025.
VW sees affordable options like the ID.Life as key to reaching a goal of having EVs account for 70% of its sales in Europe by 2030, and 50% in China and North America by the same date.
For more from the Munich auto show, head to our dedicated hub.