A milestone for Volkswagen at next month’s Paris Motor Show with the reveal of its first ‘ground-up’ all-electric vehicle.
While there are ‘mild’ electric versions of the Golf and Up in Europe, according to the German magazine Industry And Economy Week Volkswagen’s first clean-sheet all-electric vehicle will be around the same size as a Golf but offer mid-size Passat-like interior space.
The prototype to be unveiled in Paris is the precursor to a production version slated for launch as early as 2018.
It will use the new MEB chassis architecture - as seen in the Budd-e MPV concept - specifically developed for electric vehicles. At the Budd-e’s unveiling, Volkswagen said the MEB architecture maximized the packaging efficiency of electric cars (which do not require a fuel tank) to deliver compact exterior dimensions and a spacious interior.
Matthias Müller, Volkswagen Group CEO has previously announced the company’s first electric car will have a range of 500kms between battery recharges, a 15-minute charging time and a retail price less than an internal combustion vehicle.
To achieve those ideals, the car to debut in Paris will require compact electric motors and very efficient batteries - combine all that technology with a low purchase price and we’re definitely talking about a game-changer.
Further, European media reports suggest Volkswagen is planning to equip its electric car with world’s best connectivity and infotainment systems - the whole package intended to restore the German giant’s corporate reputation in the wake of the so-called Dieselgate emissions scandal.
Volkswagen says its range by 2020 will include 20 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.