Volkswagen is working on an entry-level, small, and affordable electric car that should see the light of day as a series-production model before 2027, according to the British automotive publication Autocar.

The battery-powered city car, which could carry the name ID.1, is slated to be priced below $22,000 or €20,000, slotting under VW’s upcoming ID.2 hatchback which was previewed by the ID.2all concept and is set to wear a price tag of about $27,500 (€25,000) when it hits the European market in the second half of the decade.

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Volkswagen's cheap EV to arrive by 2027

German carmaker Volkswagen is working on an entry-level city electric car that will cost less than $22,000 when it debuts. According to Autocar, the cheap battery-powered vehicle will see the light of day by 2027.

This is good news for wannabe EV buyers on the Old Continent and represents a healthy change toward cheaper, simpler battery-powered cars, as not everybody wants, needs, or can afford an EV that costs over 40 grand.

When it debuts, probably sometime in 2026, the so-called ID.1 will go up against the next-generation Renault Twingo, which will also cost about $22,000, Renault claims. Coincidentally, a previous report indicated that Volkswagen is in talks with its French rival to develop a small, cheap, urban EV.

We don’t know if the talks will actually lead to anything but it’s nice to know that big automakers such as Volkswagen are turning their attention to more affordable EVs. At least in Europe, that is.

With the sub-$27,000 ID.2 and sub-$22,000 ID.1 (names not confirmed officially), VW might have a pair of winners on its hands, in the same way Renault saw success with the Zoe electric hatchback before Tesla was all the rage.

VW e-Up (image source: VW)

Volkswagen e-Up!

Volkswagen ID.2all

Volkswagen ID.2all concept

But the German carmaker is not a stranger to making small electric cars. The discontinued e-Up! was its first foray into the segment and the ID.1 will draw inspiration from its predecessor, as attested by technical development chief Kai Grunitz.

“The ID.1 will be close to the Up regarding the usage of that car," he said. "There aren't so many possibilities to design a small vehicle for cities in terms of what it looks like. It will be a car that fits into the Volkswagen brand design DNA and functionality DNA but at a lower price.”

That said, prospective customers should not expect fancy driving aids and a lot of tech inside for the price. “You need a car that really fits the customer demands in that price class. You don’t need high-end technology within these cars," said Grünitz.

In the Up! and e-Up! era, the car’s infotainment system was actually the driver’s smartphone. It would sit in a specially designed cradle and connect to the car via Bluetooth to display trip information and play music through the speakers. This feature could make a comeback in the ID.1, as to keep production costs down. High charging speeds might also be off-limits, according to Autocar.

But what’s your take on this? Is a cheap EV still worth it if it doesn’t come with fast charging or a nice infotainment system? Let us know in the comments.

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