VW ID 2 – an electric car for the people

Volkswagen is going back to its roots and is presenting an affordable electric car with the ID.2all study – with amazing key figures: the small car with the dimensions of a VW Polo and the interior of a Golf is said to have a range of up to 450 kilometers and cost less than 25,000 euros costs. From 2025 it is to be sold as ID 2 in Europe, models from the Skoda and Cupra brands will follow, as will SUVs of the same size.

And that’s not all: the Wolfsburg-based company is also preparing an everyday electric car for less than 20,000 euros for the end of the decade. In Hamburg, VW brand boss Thomas Schäfer presented the ID 2 study: A conventionally styled small car, four meters long, with typical VW design elements such as the wide, rear roof pillar and a horizontal radiator grille: “The ID 2all gives a glimpse of the new design language of VW,” says Schäfer.

The design of current VW models has not been well received by many customers. That’s why VW has replaced the head of design: Andreas Mindt should now make the design language more sympathetic and reflect on old values.

Most recently, with prices in excess of 40,000 euros for the ID models, the brand had strayed far from its claim of building cars for everyone. That is about to change: “Volkswagen has a promise in its name,” said Imelda Labbé, brand director for sales and marketing. And so, at the presentation of the ID 2, VW first showed the brand icons of the past: Beetle, Bulli and Golf.

The aim of the ID 2 is to continue this success story. That is difficult enough, because building an affordable electric car is considered to be squaring the circle in the automotive industry. Mainly because of the high costs for the battery, electrically powered vehicles are much more expensive than comparable combustion engines: drive batteries cost between 110 and 140 euros per kilowatt hour (kWh). This means that the 77 kWh battery in an ID 3 costs over 9000 euros.

In order to still reach the target price of 25,000 euros for the ID 2, VW also relies on its own cell production. So far, the Chinese, South Koreans and Japanese have dominated the market. “When the car comes onto the market, cells from Salzgitter will be available,” said Thomas Ulbrich, New Mobility Board Member at VW, on the sidelines of the presentation. In Lower Saxony, VW is setting up its own cell production in order to reduce its dependence on Asian suppliers and gain competence in lithium-ion technology. In addition, the battery of the ID.2 should not be particularly large, Ulbrich hints. This is not necessary for a car of this size.

The only electric car for less than 25,000 euros is currently the Chinese-made Dacia Spring. However, its range is only half that of the ID 2, which is to be built at Seat’s Spanish plant in Matorell. In addition, the Dacia only has 33 kW (45 hp). The ID 2, on the other hand, sends 166 kW (226 hp) to the front wheels.

The MEB entry platform, as Volkswagen calls the technical basis of the ID 2, also comes with a new infotainment system: In the future, most functions will no longer be controlled via a Tesla-style screen. The touchscreen is complemented by classic controls. Even a normal volume control is provided. The touch-sensitive controls on the ID model have been criticized by many customers as impractical. “We have to listen more to our customers again,” said VW boss Schäfer. And they demand affordable cars from Volkswagen that are suitable for everyday use and can be operated intuitively. (cen/Guido Reinking)

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