Expect the entry-level electric car to arrive by 2025.
If the government and auto industry want to see mass adoption of electric vehicles, the introduction of more affordable variants is essential. Take the Volkswagen ID.4 as an example. Despite strong sales in the USA, it remains prohibitively expensive for most Americans; even after the $7,500 incentive has been deducted, the battery-powered SUV is still priced at a lofty $33,730.
In Europe, the Wolfsburg-based brand offers the more attainable e-Up, a budged hatchback that proved so popular Volkswagen had to place a stop order on the pint-sized EV. However, it's getting rather old and is due for replacement. The ID. Life electric city car concept, first seen in 2021, looked promising, with VW claiming a starting price of around €20,000 (approx. $21,000) when it arrives in 2025. Now, the German automotive giant has given us our first glimpse of what the silent city slicker will look like.
Posted via Twitter, the sketches don't show much else except for the outline and a few design details. It's a far cry from the retro-inspired city car pictured below, which sought inspiration from the original Mk1 Golf. Teased alongside its Skoda and Cupra cousins, the front end bears a resemblance to the brand's current lineup of electric vehicles, including the ID.3, ID.4, and delightful ID.Buzz.
The Volkswagen-badged variant appears to be far more conservative than its cousins; the Skoda boasts angular styling which stays true to the original concept, while the Cupra appears to be the sportiest of them all - we might just be seeing the first signs of a compact EV hot hatch. Volkswagen hasn't announced any additional details, but the ID. Life was said to be based upon VW's MEB platform, gaining motivation from a 230-horsepower electric motor good for a 6.9-second dash to 60 mph.
As lovely as it looks, we don't expect the concept car's interior to make it to production. To keep costs down, VW will likely provide a fuss-free yet modern cabin with all the necessary accouterments the modern driver could need. Hopefully, the minimalist dashboard architecture will remain, as well as the delightful stretch of wood spanning the width of the cockpit.
Those hoping to see a riposte from Elon Musk in the form of the Tesla Model 2 will be sorely disappointed. The CEO has said the company is not working on a sub-$25,000 EV but will in the future. When it comes to electromobility, VW has committed itself to offering something for everyone, including an electric pickup truck and a range-topping luxury car. But it's the city car segment that would cement its success. Hopefully, once it is launched, VW will see fit to bring it to the US, where affordable EVs are sorely needed.