After 100 days of running the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, CEO Thomas Schäfer has outlined his vision for the marque, offering details about the company's upcoming EV products in the process.
In a LinkedIn post, Schäfer, who previously was the head of Skoda Auto, said that Volkswagen would only build electric cars in Europe from 2033 at the latest. That would be two years ahead of the European Union's 2035 ban on internal combustion engines.
"Alongside this, we are stepping up our e-campaign, introducing ten new e-models by 2026. Our new entry-level e-car will come in two versions - as a small car and as a sporty crossover variant. In addition, we are looking into creating a compact SUV based on the ID.3."
This is an interesting update because up until now, Volkswagen was believed to be developing a single entry-level EV, a sub-ID.3 crossover expected to wear the ID.2 moniker. Now we learn that Volkswagen will offer two base EVs, a small hatchback and a sporty crossover.
The fact that VW is also considering an ID.3 SUV is noteworthy as well, and it indirectly confirms that the entry-level EVs will be subcompacts—think of them as the electric counterparts to the VW Polo and T-Roc. Volkswagen previously said that the target price for its entry-level EV is under €25,000 (approx. £22,000), and Schäfer says that goal is maintained.
The Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback belongs to Europe's C-segment, which obviously means that an ID.3 SUV would compete in the same class. It's safe to assume that the ID.3 SUV will be slightly smaller than the existing ID.4 SUV to avoid cannibalising sales, echoing the VW T-Roc's market positioning in relation to the Tiguan.
Thomas Schäfer told Autocar that the model would look dramatically different to the ID.3 when it arrives before 2026. Looking at Volkswagen's current ID. family of EVs that share the same design language, that's rather surprising to learn.
Especially since earlier this year, word got out that the automaker decided not to go through with the ID. Life Concept's boxy design for its entry-level EV, and a teaser sketch released in May (see above tweet) previewed a quite similar design to the ID.3.
The ten electric vehicle models that the VW brand plans to launch by 2026 will range from the entry-level model to the ID. Aero flagship saloon, and will include facelifted versions of current models, such as the ID.3 coming next year, Schäfer said.