Volkswagen developing budget-priced electric cars unique to China

2 minutes, 41 seconds Read

The German car maker is set to design a selection of entry-level electric cars in China, specifically for China, at a low price.

Volkswagen is working on a new electric-car platform specifically for China planned to spawn a range of budget-priced models from 2026, according to news agency Reuters.

The German car maker plans to create a low-cost platform for electric vehicles – known as the ‘A Main Platform’ – using more Chinese-made parts and collaborating with local suppliers.

The first of the Chinese-focused budget electric cars is the third battery-powered Volkswagen planned for 2026, due to arrive alongside two new electric vehicles being developed with Chinese start-up Xpeng, for the Chinese market.

<button class="navigation_glide__arrow__je__h navigation_glide__arrow–left__y3DP1 navigation_glide__arrow–inactive__H6d8_" data-glide-dir="|Previous

VW ID.2.

It will follow a year after the ID.2, a Polo-sized, budget-priced electric Volkswagen city hatch planned to become the company’s entry-level electric vehicle in Europe.

The cheaper platform will enable new lower-price, entry- and mid-level electric Volkswagens missing from its current line-up, set to compete in segments currently dominated by petrol-powered cars.

Volkswagen will produce the new electric vehicles in partnership with China’s largest car maker, SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) – which owns MG and LDV – and FAW (First Automobile Works).

Both are state-owned manufacturers with existing joint ventures with Volkswagen.

The company’s current dedicated MEB electric-car platform – which stands for ‘modular electric drive matrix’ (translated from German) – underpins battery-powered vehicles including the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback, Audi Q4 E-Tron SUV and Cupra Born hatchback.

The Golf-sized Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback is also sold in China where it is the best-selling electric Volkswagen, but at a lowly 22nd in the sales charts year-to-date.

Its MEB platform has been deemed too expensive to be used in a price-leading Chinese electric car, as sales of domestic brands and ‘New Energy Vehicles’ – the term grouping hybrid, electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles together – rise rapidly.

A total of 2.8 million new cars were sold in China in October 2023, with record sales of New Energy Vehicles seeing almost 1 million sold (956,000) according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) – 34 per cent year-on-year growth.

The majority of those – 646,000 – were battery electric vehicles, up 19 per cent year-on-year.

The announcement of the A Main Platform came at the brand’s new Volkswagen Group China Technology Company (VCTC) offices, located in Hefei, Anhui Province, west of Shanghai.

The VCTC is set to open as a technology hub in 2024 after a ¥7.76 billion ($AU1.7 billion) investment and bring reduced costs, faster development and manufacture of electric cars. 

Volkswagen announced the VCTC will partner with Chinese electric-car start-up Xpeng, which the German car maker took a five per cent stake of in July 2023, to develop two larger electric cars specifically for China using an older Xpeng platform, also scheduled to go on sale in 2026. 

The Drive Team brings you trusted, expert reviews of your next new car and is home to the best new car awards program in Australia.

Read more about Drive TeamLinkIcon

This post was originally published on this site

Similar Posts

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop