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Volkswagen previews sub-£20k small EV with ID. Life reveal

Volkswagen is to launch a small electric car from 2025, previewed by a newly revealed concept and costing around €20,000 (£17,000).

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Aimed at urban drivers, it will provide an entry-level addition to the growing ID fully electric line-up, sitting under the existing ID.3 hatch and ID.4 crossover, and is expected to be named as the ID.2.

Originally due around 2027, the new model is now planned to launch by 2025 as the brand steps up its plans for EVs under the Accelerate strategy. By 2030, Volkswagen aims to increase the share of all-electric models in total vehicle sales in Europe to at least 70% and in North America and China to at least 50%.

Conceived to make “electric mobility accessible to even more people”, it’s been previewed by the reveal of the ID. Life concept at the Munich Motor Show.

The five-door concept is built on a smaller version of Volkswagen Group’s MEB electric car platform and marks the first time a vehicle based on the MEB has featured front-wheel drive.

It uses a 234hp electric motor, giving a 0-100km/h (0-62mph) time of 6.9 seconds and powered by a 57kWh battery, providing a WLTP range of around 400km (some 250 miles).

VW says its vision is for a fully electric small car that pivots around people and communal experiences, and the concept car can turn into a mini cinema or a gaming centre, thanks to an inbuilt video game console and projector, as well as a projection screen that extends from the dash panel when required. The concept also uses cameras and a display to replace both the exterior and interior mirrors, while essential driving functions are controlled via a touch panel on the steering wheel.

Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of the Volkswagen brand, said: “In creating the ID. Life, we have consistently focused on the needs of younger customers. We believe that, even more so than today, the car of the future will be about lifestyle and personal expression. The customer of tomorrow won’t simply want to get from A to B; they will be much more interested in the experiences that a car can offer. The ID. Life is our answer to this.”

The ID.Life also adopts a sustainable approach to materials and production – for example, the air chamber textile for the roof and front cover is made from 100% recycled PET bottles, while the tyres make use of bio-oil, natural rubber and rice husks.

Other EVs will also follow based on the MEB platform – last month saw VW take the wraps off its ID.5 GTX all-electric SUV coupé, which also appears at the Munich Motor Show in concept form while earlier this year, the brand announced that it’s introducing a hot GTX version of the ID.4.

“The ID.Life proves once again how uniquely flexible the MEB is. The platform is suitable for vehicles of all types, from small cars to vans,” added Thomas Ulbrich, member of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management for Development. “It’s the most scalable electrical architecture in the industry. We’re just beginning to tap into the potential of MEB. Performance, charging capacity and range will continue to improve with each new model and software update.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.

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