Report: VW to Take on Tesla With Cheap Electric

 

It’s always been acknowledged that Teslas are a bit pricy. When the company’s first four-door sedan – the Model S – was released in 2012, its base model was pushing $60,000.

And even after Tesla announced its Model 3, a vehicle that was considered to be a bit more “for the people” – the carmaker was subject to some criticism for including in its entry price deductions for electric vehicle tax credits that are due to expire.

So while Tesla is explaining how its $45,000 Model 3 really costs $31,000 after credits, deductions and fuel savings, Volkswagen is quietly launching a competitor: an electric vehicle that sources say will start under $23,000.

A report by Reuters suggests there are changes underfoot at VW, though the company declined to comment.

A November 16th supervisory board meeting is said to be the place where execs will continue to hammer out details, including overarching plans to transform the company from a diesel powerhouse to an electric one. This could include transforming three European factories that currently produce combustion engine vehicles into ones that focus on EVs.

Part of the support structure for this massive shift will be VW’s partnerships with battery cell maker SK Innovation, and Ford, with whom VW agreed to partner on EV and autonomous vehicle development.

And while we don’t know a ton about this sub-$23K EV, Volkswagen has launched what it calls its “MEB,” a dedicated electric vehicle platform that has the capacity to hold larger batteries. Drawings of the chassis currently show a skateboard design with a battery pack on the floor between the axles.

Along with the MEB announcement, VW says it is undertaking a campaign it calls “Electric for All,” which intends to “get people excited about electric cars” in part, at least, by making them available and affordable.

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