Volkswagen’s burgeoning range of electric cars will soon spawn this entry-level city car born for the urban playground: the new VW ID.1. The tiny city car - codenamed e-Zzity in VW's inner circles - will go into production in 2025. That's after we see a concept version in 2023.
The ID.1 will have a similar footprint to the 2020 e-Up it replaces, with a boxy five-door body meaning space inside but short overhangs for easy urban driving. Expect to see a few styling cues from the ID.3 in the production version and our rendering by Andrei Avarvarii depicts the likely squat dimensions and family look.
Interestingly, the usual variant spin-offs are already under development: a rugged ID1 Crozz version and e-Roomzz van derivative have also been spotted on the drawing board.
VW ID.1: the electric specs
While the e-Up shoehorned an electric drivetrain into a city car conceived for internal combustion engines (ICE), the ID.1 is a pure battery electric car. VW engineers have used a decontented form of the MEB architecture (below), which underpins the wave of electric VWs that began with the ID.3.
Two battery capacities are expected – most likely 24kWh and 36kWh – to allow a lower price in return for a shorter range. It’s a proven trend for focused all-electric city cars, such as the Honda E and Mini Electric. Word is that the smallest electric Volkswagen would have a range around 185 miles with the bigger battery pack.
Making the business case for the Volkswagen ID.1
VW had hoped to build a €10k (£8800) EV – possibly with Suzuki – but that hasn’t worked out. So Wolfsburg is pressing on, confident in its own electric strategy.
In fact, its aim of selling a million EVs a year by 2025 has been brought forward to 2023. Boss Ralf Brandstätter says MEB-based cars can be 40% cheaper to build than EVs based on conventional chassis.
The head of the Volkswagen brand told CAR magazine: ‘In future, it will make no sense putting battery cells in a car designed for an engine as we have done with [2020’s updated] e-Up – that was a stepping-stone project. We are working on a BEV below €20,000 (£17,600) – we can shrink the MEB architecture with less content to get the cost down.’
The ID.1 will be the smallest ID in an electric line-up built around seven main models. The next one up, the ID.2, will be VW’s rival to the Renault Zoe and Peugeot e-208. A high-performance R version of the ID.3 hatch is in the pipeline. And the next ID production model is the ID.4, based on the ID Crozz concept, expected towards the end of 2020.