Volkswagen is serious about being a large competitor in the electric car market. We already know that VW considers Tesla to be its biggest competitor, and has been looking to challenge the domestic automaker's supremacy once it can become rooted in the electric market. The automaker confirmed at the Detroit Auto Show that it will be launching the I.D. electric car brand in 2020, and some models may even be built in the United States, reports say.
America won't be the first market to get an electric car outside of the e-Golf, however. The manufacturer is also playing favorites, prioritizing markets that already have a well-established electric footprint for its I.D. launches. This means that Europe and China will be first on the list for the I.D. family of cars, but America isn't far behind. Volkswagen states that the first I.D. vehicles launching in the United States will be an SUV, which questions if the I.D. Cross will still remain the first vehicle to launch U.S. markets, or if the currently unrevealed I.D. Lounge will be the first to make it State-side.
"The first of a new family of full battery electric vehicles will be added starting in 2020 and will be based on the newly developed modular electric drive matrix (MEB)," confirmed Volkswagen "The first MEB model to go on sale in America will be an SUV."
If the I.D. Cross is indeed the first vehicle to market, there's a good chance that it will be manufactured at the company's existing plant in Chattanooga, reports Electrek. Volkswagen will be manufacturing its new longer range e-Golf at the plant, and has reportedly is planning the assembly of at least one member of the I.D. family there as well.
Starting in 2020, Volkswagen will be launching a full-scale push towards electric supremacy. Using its already widely successful modular approach to building vehicles, the manufacturer hopes to cut costs and manufacturing time by utilizing its modular electric drive matrix platform in the development and assembly of the I.D. family of vehicles.
Using this information, it becomes easier to reinforce the predicted timetable for other members of the Volkswagen I.D. family based on some of the other bits of information that we already know:
- Volkswagen I.D. - To be released in the European and Chinese markets sometime around 2020
- Volkswagen I.D. Cross - To be released in the Chinese, European, and United States markets after the I.D. sometime between 2020 and 2021
- Volkswagen I.D. Lounge - To be released in the Chinese and United States markets sometime after 2021
- Volkswagen I.D. AEROe- To be released in the Chinese and United States markets sometime between 2020 and 2021
- Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ - To be released in the United States markets in 2022, cargo version to follow
Should Volkswagen's ongoing $40 billion investment in electric pay off, it could easily become the household name for electric cars in the future, so as long as its innovation is ahead of its competitors. With other manufacturers on the cutting edge of solid state battery technology, Volkswagen has been relatively quiet with new tech in comparison. But with many countries adopting a strong focus on banning gasoline-powered cars in the future, mass-electric can only be so far away.