Bloomberg reports that the company has announced plans to speed up development of a compact electric car priced at less than 30,000 euros against a background of rising sales of electric vehicles. The increase is linked to tougher regulations aimed at petrol cars and the introduction of subsidies to owners of electric vehicles.
Volkswagen’s compact model could be rolled out at the beginning of 2023. A crossover battery-powered model is to be introduced in 2021, with an electric version of the company’s microbus to follow in 2022.
VW is also developing a fully electric estate car or station wagon, to be known as Aero, with a battery range of 700 km, to be made available from 2023.
Volkswagen, the world’s best-selling automaker, introduced the ID.3, its first mass-production electric car, in Europe in September. From next year, its ID.4 crossover model will be produced in Europe, China and North America.
The company is reducing output of traditional vehicles, ending production of its Beetle and Scirocco models. It will halt production of the Passat in the United States and confine production in Europe to the model’s estate version.
Two years ago, Volkswagen announced that it would invest $52.5 billion (44 million euros) by 2023 in electric vehicles, self-driving cars and new services in mobility and digitalisation of its vehicles and car plants.
The company, like many of its competitors, hopes to “catch up” to Tesla in view of forecasts that sales of electric vehicles will rise and the introduction of tougher restrictions on emissions. In addition, many governments are introducing subsidies for producers of electric vehicles.