Home » Volkswagen’s Rumored Sub-$22k Electric Car Is Real

Volkswagen’s Rumored Sub-$22k Electric Car Is Real

Vw Cheap Car
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It’s a little mystifying to me that European automakers thought there would just be this neverending pool of rich people who would buy electric cars. The reality is, many of those rich people they were targeting already purchased Teslas and then decided they… still wanted Teslas.

The logic of this is appealing if you’ve got to justify financial projections to a board of directors. You start with some expensive cars that help pay for the tech, and then you let it filter down to more affordable models.

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Therefore, Volkswagen hit the market early with the Porsche Taycan, an expensive (starting at six figures) electric sedan, and then started to follow it up with slightly less expensive models.

Now Volkswagen is, like other German automakers, facing down the triple threat of losing its competitive edge, its manufacturing base, and its market share to Chinese companies.

What’s a Volkswagen to do? Work to build a family car that has a decent range and costs less than 20,000 EUR or $20,000 USD. Volkswagen essentially confirmed the car with the announcement today that it would be building such a vehicle, at that price, and in Europe:

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“Generations of people associate the strong brands of the Volkswagen Group with their first car – and with affordable mobility. As a group with strong brands, we continue to assume this social responsibility to this day. That’s why I’m very pleased that we’re launching a future-oriented project. It’s about entry-level electric mobility from Europe for Europe. In doing so, we combine a clear commitment to Europe as an industrial location, a European industrial policy and ultimately act in the interests of European customers.”

That’s Volkswagen CEO Olver Blume and, if you couldn’t read between the lines there, this is a European car and not necessarily intended for the United States. Here’s more:

The project is another milestone on the way to making electromobility widespread in Europe. Intensive work is already under way on the “Electric Urban Car Family”, with which the Brand Group Core will present electric cars for under 25,000 euros as early as the end of 2025. Two new compact cars, one from VW and one from CUPRA, as well as two small SUVs, one each from Škoda and one from VW, are planned here. All four vehicles will be built in Spain. With the project for all-electric entry-level mobility for 20,000 euros, the Volkswagen Group is now taking the next, consistent step.

The 25,000 EUR car ($27K) is likely the Volkswagen ID.2 and CUPRA Raval, which are also cars we’re not getting in the United States. We’re also not getting the Volkswagen ID.7 anytime soon. In fact, it seems like there are more EVs we’re not getting from VW than we’re getting these days. We’ll get Scouts, eventually, so that’s something. And maybe a CUPRA.

Volkswagen ID.2all

This vehicle isn’t due until 2027, so we’ve got a while. In the interim, the Chinese-built Dacia Spring is the least expensive regular EV you can get in Europe at around 17,600 EUR, or slightly under $20,000.

Presumably, this new EV from Volkswagen, which might just end up being the VW ID.1, will also be a little city hatchback with a backseat and a range in the mid-100 miles on the WLTP city test cycle.

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If they really wanted to make it a recognizable EV car for Europe they should just make it the New New Beetle.

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Sundance
Sundance
26 days ago

This car is real when I see it on the street, not before that. VW is telling us that they will produce an electric car for 20K€ since when? I believe it started 4 years ago. And now they tell us that they NOW will start with the development. That’s a joke. By the way, I do not think that 20K€ is “cheap”.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
27 days ago

Say “mobility” again, I dare you, I double-dare you motherfucker

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
26 days ago

Mobility! mobility mobility mobility mobility mobility!!

Now what? Does Biggie Smalls show up?

Aardvark775
Aardvark775
27 days ago

The US won’t get any small, economical, fun EVs for a good price because nobody would buy one. VW will focus on the Scout brand in the US and do very well selling giant trucks to nostalgic well-off dirt-balls.

Iotashan
Iotashan
27 days ago
Reply to  Aardvark775

Seems like the holy grail would be like a BMW i3S or something

Dan1101
Dan1101
27 days ago
Reply to  Aardvark775

I would think they could take the place of the old barebones 1990s Honda Civics. Good for a new driver, college student, or someone who takes short trips in the suburbs.

JDE
JDE
27 days ago
Reply to  Dan1101

problem is those new driver/college students were not in new cars, they were usually parents hand me down’s. And the current crop of EV’s that are entering that Hand Me Down stage tend to not function so well from a battery stand point after the 10 year mark. Also, most campus’s if they allow vehicles at all, tend to lack the Charging infrastructure as of yet.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
27 days ago

If they really wanted to make it a recognizable EV car for Europe they should just make it the New New Beetle.

SERIOUSLY. Give us a Newer Beetle, dagnabbit.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
28 days ago

Why not a Beetle EV? Those old rear engine VW platform cars are already popular for electric conversions, and other modern RR electric cars exist (iMiev, Smart car, etc).

Toecutter
Toecutter
27 days ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

If they gave it good aero, similar to the Volkhart V2 Sagitta, they could have a car shaped very much like a classic Beetle, needing less than 150 Wh/mile to do 70 mph on the highway. This in turn will help keep cost and mass down for a desired level of range. Imagine it being RWD or AWD with hub motors, with lots of interior room, both a rar hatch with fold-down back seats and a generous frunk, while still being a subcompact car. A 35 kWh battery could be designed underneath the floor with an access hatch to allow it to be removed for servicing without having to take the entire car apart(although taking the car apart ala Nissan Leaf could be a backup plan to access the battery if the access hatch gets damaged).

I could see something like this being able to be produced and sold at a small profit for under $20k. A better BYD Seagull than a BYD Seagull, with German engineering behind it.

Joe L
Joe L
27 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Yeah, an electric VW Beetle is the right answer here. What you describe is basically what I had in mind; it’s not even conceptually that different in that the original VW was basically just a “skateboard” in a way. The additional height would be welcome to balance the looks; it’s just going to look scaled up. That’s also the sort of car that I could use as a runabout and not need 300 mile range.

Toecutter
Toecutter
27 days ago
Reply to  Joe L

With NACS plugged into a v3 Tesla Supercharger, and a battery of sufficient power density, charge time would be under 10 minutes from 0%. A 300 mile range really isn’t needed at that point, albeit if a Cd value somewhere around 0.16 is achieved and the frontal area is comparable to an OG VW Beetle, that may actually be possible on a 35 kWh pack in a 2,500 lb car.

Joe L
Joe L
27 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Agreed, 200 miles (considering the battery will degrade over time) would be A-OK for a car like this for me.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

“with German engineering behind it.”

That is…not a selling point.

Toecutter
Toecutter
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

In a modern car, it is for most anything mechanical and not plastic, and almost never for anything electrical. Modern German design unfortunately has planned obsolescence down to a science. They also know how to build a “forever” car. German engineers are great at designing what they are told to design.

If I had my way, it would be overbuilt to the sort of ruggedness of a Mercedes 240D. The Germans can definitely do that with a modern EV, and make everything accessible and repairable too. Keeping the embedded tech to an absolute minimum would also go a long way toward allowing this.

We should be making highly efficient electric cars that can last a century or longer with minimal repairs.

Last edited 27 days ago by Toecutter
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

ANYONE can build a forever car if they want.

The Germans can definitely do that with a modern EV, and make everything accessible and repairable too.

That 240D might have been rugged but if my limited experience of trying to replace the head gasket on my buddy’s ’71 220D is any guide that 240D also requires a library of what I expect are now unobtanium specialty tools. That’s an important addendum – repairable using only commonly/widely available off the shelf tools and parts.

Toecutter
Toecutter
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

That’s an important addendum – repairable using only commonly/widely available off the shelf tools and parts.

Much agreed. You should be able to get anything and everything needed to repair everything on the car at any chain auto parts store or Harbor Freight.

There were some things for my 300 SDL that needed repair for which I didn’t have tools for, and it ended up being cheaper to take it to a mechanic I knew than to buy the tools and do it myself. But for the most part, I was still able to work on it myself, but not everything. For being such a premium car and having such outrageously expensive parts, it was the cheapest to run car I ever had.

I would NEVER buy any Mercedes made after the early 1990s.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I would NEVER buy any Mercedes made after the early 1990s.

Why would you when you can buy a Lexus?

Toecutter
Toecutter
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Good point. Although, the only Lexus that really appeals to me is the SC430.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

A friend of mine has one. He loves it.

JDE
JDE
27 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I am still baffled that someone has not come up with a battery system that is simply a bank of Milwaukee 24 V batteries that can level out the charges as you go. Basically make the battery changes on the cells that are bad simple and safe.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
26 days ago
Reply to  JDE

Packaging.

Goof
Goof
28 days ago

Curious what the target package is for the ID.2. The Dacia Spring is about what I would expect a modern VW Lupo to be in footprint.

The Dacia Spring is spry, with a curb weight around 1030kg (2270lbs) for the 45HP motor, and 1040kg (2293lbs) for the 65HP motors. However, it’s a “supermini”/city car at just 3700mm (145 inches) long, or about 9” shorter than a Miata. Again, if VW still made a Lupo, a Dacia Spring is about the size I’d expect a modern Lupo to be.

That’s about on par with the 2007 and later Fiat 500. It’ll sell just fine in Europe and in other markets. It could sell well enough in the US if marketed and positioned appropriately, though it would require real effort from VW to sway consumers here.

Last edited 28 days ago by Goof
Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
28 days ago

New New Beetle? I prefer Lightning Bug.

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
28 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

And we have a winner!

James Davidson
James Davidson
27 days ago

Quickly followed by a lawsuit from Ford. 🙂

Outofstep
Outofstep
28 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

I swore never to buy a modern VW but I would probably say screw it if they made a Lightning Bug. And I’d buy it in a lemon limish color and make my vanity plate something like SERENITY to really lean into it.

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
28 days ago
Reply to  Outofstep

Make my vanity plate SHINY and I will only drive it wearing a brown coat.

Outofstep
Outofstep
28 days ago

Ooooo. Both are sound decisions.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
28 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Lawsuit from FoMoCo incoming in 5… 4… 3….

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
28 days ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Nah. The founders of Ford and VAG were pretty tight.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
27 days ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

I loled far too heartily at that.

Chris D
Chris D
27 days ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

And Firefly was already taken by Pontiac (RIP).

D-dub
D-dub
28 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

I would have also accepted Bug Zapper.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
28 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Nah. Got to be more modern. Do an UpIDe!

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