A potential tie-up between Volkswagen and Renault that might result in a cheap electric car for the masses is in the works. And it can’t come soon enough, seeing how the German automaker has been in the spotlight recently for its EV-related woes, while Renault seems to be on a roll.
According to the German newspaper Handesblatt cited by Automotive News Europe, VW wants to cooperate on a platform that will underpin its upcoming $21,500 (€20,000), and so it started discussions with Renault. The source, citing people familiar with the matter, notes that the talks are still “at a very early stage” and that they could lead to nothing.
As luck would have it, Renault recently revealed its next-generation Twingo EV concept that’s slated to become a series-production car in 2026 boasting an impressive energy consumption of 160.9 watt-hours per mile. That’s 50% more efficient than current small EVs.
At the same time, Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume said last month that the namesake automaker is working on a sub-$21,500 EV that could become a reality by the second half of the decade. Mind you, this is not the EV that will be inspired by the ID. 2all concept revealed in the spring–that one will be a bit bigger and will reportedly cost under $27,000 (€25,000).
So at first glance, it might seem that if the stars align just right, we could see a Volkswagen and Renault tie-up that will fight the incoming wave of cheap-ish battery-powered cars from China. At least in Europe, that is.
On the Old Continent, Stellantis–which owns more brands than I have fingers, including Peugeot and Citroen–seems to be doing better than VW in the EV game. The Citroen e-C3 was recently launched with a starting price tag of about $24,500 and more affordable models are set to be shipped from China thanks to a partnership between Stellantis and Leapmotor.
This wouldn’t be the first time Renault collaborated with a rival automaker to develop an EV. Back in 2020, the French carmaker debuted the current-gen Twingo ZE which is more or less the same car as the discontinued Smart EQ ForFour sold by Daimler.
What’s your take on this: should VW get in the same boat with Renault and set off in a cheap EV race with Chinese companies? Let us know in the comments below.