AutoExpress has published today an article that says Volkswagen aims to have an electric vehicle able to run for 600 km. This would put it ahead of the competition, but AutoExpress seems to have missed a very important detail. Check the image above very carefully. The car that is under wraps is very likely the same one that the company will present at the Paris Motor Show in a few weeks. And it has round forms that make us think of the Beetle, but not the current one. It has a taller roof, just like the first Citroën C3, and an A pillar that is much more forward than they normally are. The bonnet also seems to be short, with a small front overhang. Will VW produce an electric people’s car, or a Volks-Elektro-Wagen (VEW), as ADAC says in good German?
According to the first reports on this car, it will be similar in size to the VW Golf. In other words, a C-segment hatchback, the best-selling car segment in Europe. And it would probably offer at least a 400 km range. The 600 km range would be for crossovers. The best-selling electric car in the world, the Nissan Leaf, is also a C-segment hatchback. And it sell really well in the USA. This is a market Volkswagen wants to conquer for ages. It would better appeal to charisma to beat its competitor, especially when the Leaf is about to present a new generation. It will very likely be based on the IDS Concept, the car you see above.
Besides an interesting car, Volkswagen is taking other steps to seduce customers. Along with BMW and ChargePoint, it has announced the installation of 95 new DC Fast charging stations along the East and West Coasts in the USA. They will be part of what BMW and Volkswagen call the Express Charging Corridors Initiative. But only BMW has products that can use these fast chargers. When the electric people’s car starts to be sold, it will already have a nice network of “fueling stations”.
Autocar has also stated that the new electric people’s car will be a “mobile device on wheels”. That implies the car will be permanently connected to a digital ecosystem. This environment will provide apps for the car. And each VW owner will have an ID to start the car and configure other VW vehicles that are compatible.
The new car will be built over the MEB, or Modularen Elektrifizierungs Baukasten, a modular electric architecture that will offer 24 cm more room than any conventional car of similar size. The round design should help a lot on that. We’ll soon get to know all about the EVW. Just remember that, if it looks like a Citroën C3, you have read that here first.