Volkswagen’s first dedicated battery electric car will be revealed at next month’s Paris auto show.
Speaking to German magazine WirtschaftWoche (Industry and Economy Week), Chairman, Herbert Diess said the car would have the outside dimensions of the Golf, pictured above, but offer the larger Passat’s interior space.
The size means it will take on the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, which debuts this year, and the Tesla Model 3, expected to be ready by the end of 2017.
According to Diess, the car is a “near-production prototype” that should be launched in late 2018 or early 2019.
The new EV will be followed by a small crossover, a coupe and the production version of the BUDD-e minivan concept.
According to UK publication Autocar, VW Group CEO Matthias Müller has confirmed the car will offer a 310-mile (500km) range while having a charge time of 15 minutes and costing less than a conventional gasoline- or diesel-powered car.
Müller could have been referring to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which is much more generous than the EPA rating and doesn’t really reflect real-world range, but a range of 250 miles is more likely.
The car “will make a huge statement,” a senior engineer with knowledge of VW’s research and development plans told Autocar. “It’s planned to use cutting-edge technology but at a price that makes it attainable for the average motorist.”
Autocar says it has learned the new EV will be the first to use the Volkswagen Group’s new MEB architecture, which has been developed specifically for electric cars.
The platform was introduced on the Budd-e concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year.
Volkswagen has targeted a significant growth in electric range through the use of compact electric motors and high-performance batteries, and there are reports that the company will build its own battery factory, or at least have battery production in Germany.
The new electric car is part of the automaker’s “Together – Strategy 2025”, marking its ambition to have 20 electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the lineup by 2020.
The plan was is a response to the VW emissions scandal.