TURIN – Volkswagen is talking to potential partners, including Renault, for the development of a 20,000 euro electric car. According to the German newspaper Handelsblatt, the German company is interested in collaborating on a platform that makes battery-powered vehicles accessible to the masses.
Talks with Renault are still “at a preliminary stage”, Handelsblatt reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the project. Both partners have an annual production target of 200,000-250,000 units each.
In March, Volkswagen presented the concept of a small electric vehicle, the ID2, currently under development, to be launched by 2025 with a price below 25,000 euros, a range of 450 km and charging from 10% to 80% in about 20 minutes.
At the time, the Wolfsburg company stated that it was also working on a vehicle under 20,000 euros, without however providing further information or timing.
In November Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault and former VW group executive, presented the new Twingo, an electric city car that will be launched in 2026 at a price of less than 20,000 euros.
During the presentation to the financial markets of Ampere, the Renault spin-off that will deal with electric cars and software, De Meo declared that he is ready to collaborate with other manufacturers to increase the economies of scale of the next Twingo, which promises of 10 kWh per 100 km, half of what is offered today by direct competitors.
European automakers are accelerating their plans to bring affordable electric cars to market in response to new models from China. In calculations by analysts at Jato Dynamics, the average price of an electric vehicle in Europe in the first half of 2023 was more than 65,000 euros compared to just over 31,000 euros in China.
Contacted by the Bloomberg agency, a Renault spokesperson confirmed that cooperation is necessary to be competitive with small electric vehicles. “We are having several conversations, but nothing has been finalized yet,” the spokesperson said, while VW declined to comment.
Renault, like VW, are under pressure after Stellantis presented the new Citroen ë-C3 in October, an electric B-segment five-door that will be launched next spring for 23,300 euros with a 44 kWh LFP battery and a autonomy of 320 km. Built in the Stellantis plant in Trnava, Slovakia, where the current C3 is already produced, the new C3 uses the Smart Car modular architecture, developed to produce vehicles in emerging countries such as India and South America, which can accommodate both electric and combustion engines, which will be available at launch.
At the beginning of 2025 it will be followed by a city variant with a smaller battery and autonomy reduced to around 200 km, but with a price below 20,000 euros.
Next July Fiat will launch the fourth generation of the Panda, based on the structure of the ë-C3, which will be produced in Serbia and should offer the same performance – and similar prices – to its cousin Citroen.