German car giant announces plans to convert two factories into EV plants
Volkswagen has reportedly given the green light to build an entry-level electric car that will rival Tesla’s Model 3.
Sources at the German car giant told Autocar that the electric vehicle will be based on the company’s MEB production platform, which underpins the VW ID concept range that debuted at the 2016 Paris motor show.
The car, known internally as “MEB Entry”, is rumoured to take the form of a five-seater compact crossover that will join five other upcoming models in VW’s ID electric range. These include the Crozz SUV, Aero sport brake, Buzz microbus, Vizzion saloon and the Neo hatchback, the magazine says.
While the rumoured budget EV has yet to be confirmed by VW, the company announced yesterday that it plans to convert its German factories in Emden and Hanover to prepare for its EV product offensive, says CNet.
VW’s push towards electric cars is expected to get under way in 2020 when the Neo goes on sale, which will be followed by the budget crossover two years later, notes Autocar.
How much will the budget EV cost?
Speaking to Reuters, company insiders said the budget EV will cost around €20,000 (£17,600). This would undercut the Tesla Model 3 by around €10,000 (£8,900). VW plans to produce around 200,000 examples of the so-called MEB Entry.
What will it look like?
It’s difficult to say at the moment, given that Volkswagen is keeping quiet over its electric production cars.
However, Autocar says the budget vehicle may take the form of a five-door compact crossover, similar to the company’s “combustion-engined T-Roc” SUV.
Sources told the magazine that the EV will have “classless design appeal, outstanding interior space within a compact footprint and the sort of affordability to allow it to appeal to a wide number of car buyers in all of Volkswagen’s existing markets”.
Meanwhile, images of the MEB production platform (pictured above) posted by the German carmaker suggest the entry-level car will have a battery unit placed directly underneath the cabin, allowing for boots at both ends of the vehicle.