Volkswagen boss Oliver Blume believes the company’s €20,000 ($21,714) electric vehicle could come in the second half of the 2020s, despite the fact the German automaker has not made an outright decision on producing such an affordable model yet.
Blume said at a conference today that he believes if Volkswagen decides to build an ultra-affordable EV for customers who are not willing to spend upwards of €30,000 or even €40,000 for a new car, it will come after 2025.
Blume said the key to reducing EV prices is first reducing battery costs, which will then result in cheaper electric cars that will bring more customers in at a more affordable price point. Right now, EVs are cheaper than they have ever been, and there are more options than in past years.
Still, there are a lot of companies that have not been able to bring prices down to a point where they are ultra-affordable. Even with government subsidies in many countries, which were created to entice consumers to buy more affordable EVs, many models are still too pricey for some car buyers to consider.
Many automakers have been discussing the potential for new, more affordable models, including Tesla, which has hinted that a €25,000 EV would be coming to the European market from Gigafactory Berlin in Germany.
Tesla has also said that it will produce similarly priced models at Gigafactory Texas and in Shanghai. A production line has also been talked about at the upcoming Gigafactory Mexico.
In March, Volkswagen said it was discussing plans for a €20,000 vehicle, but no information regarding production timing or any specifics about the car were disclosed.
“We have a responsibility to bring the right products at the right price onto the market,” Blume said, according to Reuters.
Volkswagen faces a similar problem to other EV makers that have not been able to bring prices down substantially to reach a new consumer sector. As early adopters of EVs were able and willing to spend tens of thousands, and sometimes more, on the early cars that hit the market, prices have come down as companies have scaled production to the point that they can offer slightly more affordable vehicles.
However, there are still many car buyers who are simply priced out of these early models, and in order to hit lofty EV sales goals by the end of the decade, these companies are being forced to consider routes to bring more affordable EVs to their lineups.
“After early adopters were reached with electric cars, we now need consumers to be convinced by the technology, who don’t have the opportunity to install a charging station at home,” Blume added.
He also said that other challenges, like inflation, charging infrastructure, and subsidy removal, were holding back EV demand.
Last week, Volkswagen said it planned to launch a $35,000 EV in the U.S. within the next 3-4 years, which would bring more potential car buyers to VW when considering an electric car.
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