Volkswagen plans to launch 27 electric cars based on its MEB platform by 2022. That will include a family of affordable models although VW hasn't decided which brand they will be sold under, according to a new report.
The project—codenamed "MEB Entry"—was originally assigned to VW's Spanish Seat division, but responsibility has now been moved back to the main VW brand, reports Automotive News Europe. VW told the publication that it had not made a final decision on which brand would assume responsibility for the affordable EVs permanently.
Seat was identified as the lead brand for the project in March 2019, when VW Group CEO Herbert Diess said the Spanish brand would start development of an electric car that would sell for less than 20,000 euros ($21,800), and would replace electric versions of the VW Up, Skoda Citigo, and Seat Mii.
This is planned to lead to a family of affordable EVs, all based on a shortened version of the VW MEB platform, reports Automotive News Europe.
That would yield vehicles somewhat smaller than the VW ID.3 hatchback. That model was not homologated for the United States, which will instead get a larger crossover called ID.4, based on the same version of MEB.
To meet VW's price target, engineers need to strip out one third of the costs compared to the ID.3, which has proven difficult, according to the report.
Seat planned to collaborate on the affordable EV project with JAC Automobile Group, VW's Chinese partner for electric cars. JAC was also to have facilitated Seat's launch in China by building electric cars locally for the Spanish brand. Those plans have been scrapped, according to Automotive News Europe. Cuts to government subsidies and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have decreased demand for electric cars in China, the publication noted.
As for its larger electric cars, VW has said U.S. pricing will be "apples to apples" with internal combustion—although it hasn't been specific about whether this includes potential incentives from the federal government and states.