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Volkswagen ID.1 micro EV on the way: report

EV range plug-in: The rumoured ID.1 and related ID.2 EVs will slot in beneath the Golf sized ID.3 (left) with the ID.1 to be about the same size as the Up! (below).

Volkswagen allegedly working on sub-$40,000 micro EV due to launch in 2023

23 Mar 2020

VOLKSWAGEN has been preparing to “leap into the electric era” with the start of the second phase of its Transform 2025+ electrification initiative, a strategy which will see the introduction of a new micro battery-electric vehicle (BEV), the ID.1.


According to British publication Car, the new ID.1 is due in European showrooms some time in 2023 as a replacement for the – discontinued in Australia – Up! hatchback, particularly the electric e-Up version.


Sitting on a shortened version of VW’s MEB electric platform, reports suggest the ID.1 will have a similar footprint to the outgoing Up! with a choice of battery capacities – 24kWh and 36kWh – the bigger of which is tipped to offer a range of up to 298km.


Volkswagen chief operating officer Ralf Brandstaetter said the German brand’s smallest EV will cost less than €20,000 ($A37,202) thanks to the flexibility of the MEB architecture.


“In future, it will make no sense putting battery cells in a car designed for an engine as we have done with [2020’s updated] e-Up! – that was a stepping-stone project,” he told Car.


“We are working on a BEV below €20,000 – we can shrink the MEB architecture with less content to get the cost down.”


Volkswagen says it aims to offer EVs in all key vehicle segments by the end of 2022, all built on the MEB platform which already underpins the ID.3, recently revealed ID.4, Audi e-Tron 50 and newly announced Skoda Enyaq.


“By 2025, at least 1.5 million electric cars should be sold per year,” the brand said in a statement.


“The long-term goal is the complete decarbonisation of the fleet and the Group by 2050.”


If Car’s reports ring true and the ID.1 does launch in 2023, it will face stiff competition from the all-electric third-generation Fiat 500 which is due to hit European showrooms next year, though the ID.1 should undercut its Italian rival by more than €17,000 ($A31,765).


Volkswagen Group Australia declined to comment on whether there was any interest in offering the ID.1 Down Under eventually, though the possibility was not completely ruled out by public relations and brand experience manager Kurt McGuiness when asked about the importance of the MEB platform in Australia.


“Volkswagen has made its plans clear that its future is electric,” he said.


“Markets like ours will eventually follow suit with the likes of Europe, once infrastructure and market conditions/appetite catch up.”


While the existence and planning of the ID.1 super-mini is effectively confirmed, things regarding the related ID.2 are not so clear.


With no official word from Volkswagen, the rumour mill has been going into overdrive in recent weeks, producing contrasting reports and theories as to what shape the bigger – in theory – ID.2 will take, though the general consensus is that of a Polo-sized hatchback to slot neatly in between the Up! sized ID.1 and Golf-sized ID.3.


The other theory in circulation is that the ID.2 will take the form of a compact SUV, similar in size to the current T-Roc.


Neither the ID.1 or the ID.2 have been officially announced by Volkswagen as yet.


Last year Volkswagen sold 49,928 cars nationwide, marking an 11.8 per cent drop in sales compared to 2018’s figure of 56,620.


So far this year ending February, the German giant has managed to shift 6879 new vehicles, down 805 units year-on-year (-10.5%).

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