The Volkswagen Group currently has three small electric vehicles on sale under the VW, Skoda and SEAT brands respectively. They are essentially the same car, the VW e-Up! that has been badge engineered to reflect each brand’s identity, but it seems the German giant has much bigger plans for its small EVs in the near future.
It was initially announced that VW’s Spanish sub-brand, SEAT, would develop the group’s new electric city car, but this is apparently no longer the case. Now VW is looking at a different strategy, according to Automotive News Europe, namely to reengineer its MEB EV architecture to be smaller and cheaper.
The requirement is for the MEB platform to be shortened to under 4 meters (157.5 inches) in order for it to be fit for the purpose. And it seems the main challenge won’t be to make the platform smaller and adapt it to work in a vehicle smaller than the ID.3 - the main problem will be keeping costs down.
Volkswagen wants the finished vehicle to cost under €20,000 or around $22,000 (after incentives), so it needs to make the platform that underpins the vehicle a third cheaper than it currently is in order to meet that target.
Gallery: Volkswagen e-up! at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show
Keep in mind that Volkswagen is most likely not referring to the ID.1 it’s believed to already be working on. This will be a new family of even more affordable models built atop a simplified and shrunken down version of the MEB platform; it’s not yet clear how many models the manufacturer plans to make, but it seems they will be sold under the VW badge.