When the Volkswagen Group unleashes the first Scout Motors electric trucks and SUVs in 2026, those vehicles will aim for the heart of America like no Golf or Tiguan could ever do. The Scouts are said to be rugged, "heritage-inspired" EVs that pay homage to one of the godfathers of the off-roading world. Given how popular retro SUVs like the Ford Bronco and Land Rover Defender are, the brand seems poised to be a hit—if the specs and price are right. 

Those things remain unknown. But at the Scout Motors' factory groundbreaking in South Carolina yesterday, we asked Scout President and CEO Scott Keogh if the often-quoted $40,000 price tag was still true. "I think ($40,000) was referenced somewhere, but I would say we could be high 40s," he said. 

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Scout helps VW make a truck play for America

The Volkswagen Group's electric revival of the Scout Motors brand will be designed and built in America, for America. It will help VW capitalize on a truck market it's never been able to go after here and realize its electric ambitions as well. 

The $40,000 price tag claim seems to date back to interviews several years ago with former Volkswagen of America Chief Operating Officer Johan de Nysschen, who said the company wanted to develop a Rivian-esque EV “at the $40,000 price point instead of $70,000.” (De Nysschen has since retired from the automaker.) And in an interview with TechCrunch last year, Keogh was quoted as saying the Scout SUV will "start in the $40,000 range, while the truck will be 'a bit north of there.'"

Presumably, that price tag does not include any EV tax credits, which the Scout models could qualify for since they're built in the U.S. (A battery supplier has not been named, but Keogh said it would not come from the Georgia plant that makes the Volkswagen ID.4's pack.) At the same time, the trucks are supposed to be unveiled this summer and go on sale in 2026. It's anybody's guess what could happen with the EV tax credit system by then. 

Gallery: Scout Motors Factory Groundbreaking 2024 Official Photos

Still, the $40,000 to $50,000 range would make the Scout EV a direct competitor to the upcoming Rivian R2, not to mention gas-powered options like the Ford Bronco. The Scout is meant to be as off-road-capable as any of them, company officials say, with a body-on-frame truck platform that's being designed and built from the ground up just for this application. 

During a roundtable session with several journalists, Keogh also confirmed that the plan is to make the Scout all-electric; no hybrid option will be offered, as has been rumored in some circles. While he conceded the company is not "naive to the news headlines" about uncertain EV demand at present, and one could surmise a hybrid option could draw from the VW Group's vast array of engine options, Keogh said he wants the company fully focused on one goal. 

"We are a startup and that gives us the ability to pivot and move fast, which is a beautiful thing, right?" Keogh said. "But if we look at the world as we see it right now, we think there's enough opportunity to go for a pure (electric) play and go for it. I think a pure play allows you to be laser-focused."

Contact the author: patrick.george@insideevs.com

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