VW Promises ‘Affordable’ BEV for the City

Volkswagen is hoping to address one of the main obstacles to BEV adoption by promising an entry-level vehicle sporting a European price tag of €20,000 ($23,633).

While still a lot more than Chinese BEV manufacturers can sell their vehicles, even to an export market, the move will be welcomed by consumers considering the switch away from ICE and comforted by a familiar brand. The automaker presented its ID.Life urban concept car at the IAA Munich International Motor Show pledging to have a series production model on the roads by 2025.

It says its vision of a BEV small car for the urban environment is people and community centric and combines sustainability and digital experiences. It claims the model’s use is flexible enough to offer an in-cabin mini cinema experience or become a gaming center while taking a break from travel.

An electric motor drives the front wheels and the car is based on a smaller variant of Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB) that has been developed for the small car segment. Claiming 230bhp, the ID. Life accelerates from zero to 62mph in 6.9 seconds, while its 57 kWh high-voltage battery claims a range of about 250 miles on the WLTP rating.

Its sustainability credentials include natural and recycled materials. For example, in the clear paint coat for the bodywork, wood chips are used as a natural coloring agent along with a bio-based hardener. The air chamber textile for the roof and front cover is made from 100% recycled PET bottles. In the interior, wood in the dashboard and rear seat surrounds is combined with ArtVelours Eco for the seat surfaces and door trims. Bio-oil, natural rubber and rice husks are just some of the materials that serve as a basis for the tires.

Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of the Volkswagen, said: “The ID. Life is our vision of next-generation fully electric urban mobility. This means we are making electric mobility accessible to even more people. In creating the ID. LIFE, we have consistently focused on the needs of younger customers. We believe that, even more so than today, the car of the future will be about lifestyle and personal expression. The customer of tomorrow won’t simply want to get from A to B; they will be much more interested in the experiences that a car can offer.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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