Volkswagen Prepares for Mass Production of $23,000 Electric Vehicle: Report

The alleged price tag would undercut Tesla and make it the most affordable mass-market electric vehicle, by far.

byJames Gilboy|
Electric Vehicles photo

Volkswagen is reportedly planning to sell an entry-level electric vehicle for less than 20,000 euros, or approximately $23,000. At a board meeting scheduled for November 16, executives will gather to discuss the automaker's plans to manufacture its I.D.-branded EVs in place of its internal combustion offerings, according to Reuters.

One topic expected to come up is a budget-friendly electric vehicle that will cost less than $23,000, and generate a sales volume of 200,000 units. The vehicle is rumored to be based on VW's modular electric vehicle platform, MEB, which will underpin all of the company's first generation of electric vehicles from the utilitarian I.D. Buzz to the I.D. Crozz lifestyle vehicle—both of which will reportedly be built in the United States.

Also reportedly on the way is a midsize EV called the I.D. Aero, which will reportedly be built on the assembly line where the Passat is built today. It is unclear whether the alleged I.D. Aero will fully replace the Passat and take up the plant's full production capacity, though the board is expected to discuss retooling three of VW's plants to manufacture EVs.

Company executives will reportedly discuss potential partnerships between VW and other companies such as Ford, with whom VW is evaluating a cooperative development of commercial vehicles, and potentially passenger vehicles too. Alliance with battery manufacturer SK Innovation will reportedly also come up, which corroborates a report from The Korea Times that also identified a possible VW-SK deal.

Volkswagen's first production-ready I.D. EV, based on the 2016 I.D. hatchback concept, will debut in 2019. At present, it is the most likely candidate for an affordable EV from VW, but the automaker promised The Drive that more concept cars are on the way soon. We may have yet to see what VW has up its sleeve.

When contacted, VW declined to comment on future EV plans.