PARIS -- VW has previewed an electric compact car due in 2020 that it says will have a range of between 400 to 600km (250 to 370 miles).
The ID concept, unveiled ahead of the Paris auto show, was described by the automaker as the first in a new fleet of "highly innovative vehicles." "The ID starts the countdown to a new era for Volkswagen," the company said in a statement.
The new car previews VW's new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform that will underpin future electric vehicles
The MEB platform frees up room in the cabin to offer an "entirely new spatial experience," the company said.
VW has previously said the ID will have the interior space of its Passat midsize in a car the size of the Golf compact.
The concept also previews VW's vision of autonomous driving and features a steering wheel that retracts into the dashboard when the car takes over driving functions.
The new car departs from VW's more conservative styling to offer a new design DNA unique to future electric cars, the company said.
The car drops the standard VW grille and features almost completely solid wheels to help boost the aerodynamics.
Making e-mobility a success will not work without substantial progress in battery technology and the required infrastructure, Matthias Mueller, VW's CEO, said at the show. Mueller said the automaker was working on fast-charging systems for batteries and plans to launch a charging infrastructure on Germany's autobahns for long-distance driving.
VW said in a statement it wants to be selling a million EVs a year by 2025. That's lower than the target it set back in June this year when company announced an annual target of 2-3 million EVs a year by 2025. The automaker promised it would launch more than 30 purely electric vehicles by the same date.
VW CEO Herbert Diess told the German magazine Wirtschaftswoche in August the electric vehicles would include a subcompact SUV, a coupe and a successor to the Phaeton limousine. Earlier this year VW said it would also build the BUDD-e concept minivan.