How VW Group plans to attack small EV segment

MUNICH — Volkswagen Group’s plans to sell small full-electric cars under its VW, Skoda and Seat brands are taking shape.

The group’s first battery-powered small segment model is expected to be the Skoda Elroq, which is scheduled to go on sale in mid-2024.
It will be positioned below the Enyaq, Skoda’s only battery-powered car on sale now.

VW brand is expected to add two battery-powered small EVs — the ID1 crossover in 2025 and the ID2 small hatchback in 2027. These models will sit below the ID4 crossover and ID3 hatchback.

Seat will launch the Acandra in early 2025. Company insiders say it will be a sporty-styled hatchback aimed at young buyers in cities and suburbs. A second body variant could follow.

All the small EVs are expected to start at 19,000 euros.

VW Group has given Skoda, which specializes in low-cost cars, responsibility for the development of the EVs. The cars or their successors are likely to eventually replace the group’s small cars including the VW Polo, Skoda Fabia and Seat Ibiza. The VW brand has said it will stop selling combustion engine cars in Europe by 2035.

Although Skoda is based in the Czech Republic, the small EVs will be built in Spain, with Seat’s factory in Martorell, near Barcelona, and VW brand’s Pamplona small-car plant as contenders, according to company sources.

The VW, Skoda and Seat cars will be based on a shortened version of VW Group’s MEB electric-only architecture. The platform currently underpins the VW ID4, ID3, Skoda Enyaq, as well as the Audi Q4 e-tron and Cupra Born.

The cars will use the same battery packs as the current MEB models.

They will get a powerful operating system that will offer functions that have so far only been available in VW Group’s upper mid-range cars. These include search and payment services, charging assistance, and networking with the Internet of Things.

Currently no VW Group brand has a battery-powered model in the small-car segment. In the minicar segment, the group sells full-electric versions of the VW Up, Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii, but these cars are being phased out.

The small-car segment is gradually becoming electric as automakers find it increasingly difficult to sell small combustion engine cars because of the cost of adding technology to meet the European Union’s toughening emissions regulations.

PSA sells full-electric versions of the Peugeot 208 and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa small hatchbacks, the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa-e and Peugeot e-208.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo has said that by 2023 the automaker will launch an “affordable” small battery-powered car with a retro design inspired by the Renault 5.

Fiat last year launched the New 500 full-electric hatchback. The battery-powered Honda e was introduced in Europe last year.