The VW ID.1, the expected most affordable Volkswagen electric car in the VW ID. family, will likely be a small hatchback similar to the Cupra UrbanRebel, but with an individual design. The expected base price is around EUR 20,000.
Plan for VW ID.1 hinted at in 2020
Silke Bagschik, Head of Sales and Marketing (ID. Family), Volkswagen, hinted at the rumoured VW ID.1 on 15 September 2020. In a virtual investor meeting with UBS, Bagschik showed the VW ID.1 (Entry BEVs 1&2), presumably the smallest and the most affordable VW ID. electric car, arriving after 2025.
MEB short platform
Volkswagen kicked off the ID. brand when it started the deliveries of ID.3, the first pure electric car from the range, in Germany in 2020. Based on the MEB platform, the ID.3 is available in three battery capacities – 45 kWh, 58 kWh, and 77 kWh – with a range (WLTP) of 320 km, 420 km, and 550 km, respectively. Volkswagen says that the ID.3 will be less expensive to both buy and operate than similar-sized combustion engine models, and this principle could be applied for the ID.1 & ID.2.
Brandstatter says it will be 40% cheaper to build electric cars on the MEB platform than on a conventional chassis. Volkswagen Group is developing a version of the MEB for the A- and B-segment models, simply called MEB short. In addition to making the MEB platform compatible with smaller models, the company could make it less sophisticated so that it doesn’t overspecify them and make them unnecessarily more expensive. Unified cell format and LFP chemistry will help further reduce the cost.
Volkswagen Group’s Spanish marque Seat is in charge of the MEB short platform. Unofficially called MEB entry platform before the company gave it a name when it announced the Cupra UrbanRebel Concept, the MEB short platform will debut in a B-segment Seat electric SUV in 2025. Axel Andorff, VP – R&D, Seat, has told Auto Express that the development of the MEB short platform is already underway.
Yes, we have a team working on it now. What we already know is that just a little improvement of the main MEB platform on costs and so on will not be sufficient for what we need for a small electric car.Axel Andorff, VP – R&D, SEAT brand
Auto Motor Und Sport (AMS) in its August 2020 report speculated that the Christmas card released by Volkswagen in 2019 ‘teases’ the silhouette of the design concept of the ID.1. The illustration showed a mini car lacking B-pillars sporting a steeply sloping rear end, a strong C-Pillar with a spoiler and a circumferential LED strip.
Volkswagen Group officials more recently indicated that the MEB short platform EVs won’t compromise on the range aspect. Talking about a sub-EUR 20,000 Skoda EV with Auto Express in July 2021, Thomas Schafer, CEO, Skoda, said that 350-400 km (217-248 miles) is a “reasonable range” for an EV like that.
Production & Release Date
The VW ID.1 will most likely roll out of one of Volkswagen Group’s Spanish factories. There’s a good chance that the Seat Martorell plant (Barcelona, Spain) manufactures it, at least until the Volkswagen Pamplona plant (Navarra, Spain) is ready to start making EVs. Volkswagen is not expected to introduce the budget electric hatchback before 2025.
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