Volkswagen ID.1: First look at the entry-level electric car in Polo format
Volkswagen has given a first look at its new entry-level ID.1 electric car. The Polo-sized electric car is slated to go into production in 2025, along with a crossover model called the ID.2, as well as similar models from Skoda and Cupra – all using a smaller version of the company’s MEB electric car platform.
The Volkswagen ID. The Life concept unveiled at the 2021 Munich Motor Show was meant to be our first taste of the design language of the upcoming ID.1 and ID.2, but based on this new sketch, Volkswagen appears to have changed course and returned to its established styling approach for electric cars.
Instead of the angular, retro-inspired lines of the ID. Life (below), the car in the sketch looks more like a smaller version of the existing ID.3. The micro electric car will be the smallest member of the ID. family, which currently includes the ID.3 hatchback, ID.4 SUV, ID.5 coupe SUV and ID. Buzz minibus and van.
Volkswagen hasn’t announced any technical details on the ID.1 or ID.2 yet, but we expect them to be similar to those of the ID. life concept. This car used a 231hp electric motor driving only the front wheels, taking 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds. The ID. Life’s 57 kWh battery could provide enough energy to cover almost 250 miles on one charge, according to Volkswagen.
The entry-level electric cars from Volkswagen, Skoda and Cupra will all be built in Spain from 2025, as part of a €10 billion investment in the country that includes a new battery “gigafactory” in Sagunto in the south. This will flow into the production of electric cars by the VW Group in two plants in Martorell and Pamplona.
Speaking to DrivingElectric in 2021, Axel Andorff, SEAT’s chief technical development officer, suggested that the new car will take full advantage of the flexibility of the MEB platform, but that this development will focus on cost savings to bring the technology to a small car to bring cost point.
“No one can do it alone,” said Andorff. “We are building on the experience that the team already has from the MEB. But we also know that just a small improvement in the MEB, in cost and so on, will not be enough to achieve what we need for a small battery electric vehicle.”
Some additional leads were offered by other Volkswagen Group executives. According to the Board of Management for Technical Development Dr. A new battery technology could help Frank Welsch reduce these costs.
“Every two or three years we see improvements in battery technology and electrochemistry,” he said. “If we talk about it [a smaller] MEB entry, I don’t think it will happen before 2023 – and by then there will be at least some improvements.
“But if you decide on a smaller concept, where [customers] If you don’t need a range of 500 kilometers or could never afford a battery capacity of 80 kWh, for example, this could be an option – especially when you consider that things should get better in the next three years.”
Despite the focus on simplicity, there could still be a range version of the ID.1, as Welsch further suggests: “We wouldn’t have to stop at 40 kWh, for example … I couldn’t imagine 60 kWh either with a smaller wheelbase, for example – because we know from the Polo that some customers of this vehicle size also want to drive longer distances.”
Plans for a Polo-sized ID electric car were originally announced in 2019 by VW Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess, confirming and explaining that it would be “below Golf size” and expected to arrive in 2023 – although there are later delays in other ID models, but the impact of the coronavirus pandemic appears to have pushed that date back.
In a March 2021 statement, the company said: “Plans for an electric car under the ID.3 – with a starting price of €20,000 (£17,300) will be pushed back by two years to 2025.” is due to the problems mentioned above to keep battery costs low.