Volkswagen Group is redoubling its efforts to launch small battery-powered cars in Europe, where the segment is expected to boom in the coming years as more competitors start to offer entry-level EVs.
The automaker will launch full-electric cars about the size of the VW Polo small-segment car starting in 2025, VW Group CEO Herbert Diess said.
The cars will be offered by various group brands, Diess told reporters during the automaker's annual press conference on March 16. By that time battery cell technology should be advanced enough for the cars to be sold at an attractive price for entry-level buyers, Diess said.
There is a growing emphasis on small EVs because the cost to add fuel-saving technologies such as hybrid powertrains to entry-level combustion engine models to comply with the European Union's tougher CO2 emissions rules is making them unprofitable. Automakers are either quitting the small and minicar segments or launching full-electric models.
VW brand boss Ralf Brandstaetter told reporters on March 5 that VW Group, with its multiple brands, has the scale needed to succeed in the small EV sector.
VW brand plans to launch a small EV in 2025 priced between 20,000 euros ($24,000) to 25,000 euros, Brandstaetter said. The car will be positioned below the ID3 compact hatchback that went on sale in Europe last September.