Volkswagen to bring 4 new EVs to China, announces new low-cost electric car platform

  • The new low-cost electric car architecture is called A Main Platform and will spawn four new EVs by 2026, specifically developed for China.
Volkswagen China Research Centre Hefei
Volkswagen's new EV development and procurement centre in Hefei, China, will play a crucial role in the development of the upcoming affordable EVs
Volkswagen China Research Centre Hefei
Volkswagen's new EV development and procurement centre in Hefei, China, will play a crucial role in the development of the upcoming affordable EVs

Volkswagen China has confirmed it will bring four new electric vehicles by 2026 under its all-new EV platform developed specifically for the market. The automaker is all set to bring an electric onslaught with its new low-cost electric vehicle architecture called “A Main Platform" that will spawn new and more affordable EVs three years later. The announcement was made at the inauguration of the brand’s new EV development and procurement centre - Volkswagen Group China Technology Company (VCTC) in Hefei, China.

The new R&D facility has been built with an investment of $1.1 billion (approx. 9,100 crore), which will play an instrumental role in the development of the new EVs based on the A Main Platform. The new architecture is said to be a derivative of the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform that underpins Volkswagen’s new ID. family comprising the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 and ID.7 globally. The Volkswagen ID.3 is the brand’s best-selling electric vehicle in China at present and the new offerings will underpin the model priced between 140,000 Yuan and 170,000 Yuan (approx 16.70 lakh and 20.30 lakh).

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Volkswagen Group China Facility Hefei
The Hefei facility will be instrumental in developing the upcoming EVs including integrating suppliers and reducing turnaround time. Built with an investment of $1.1 billion, it will generate employment for over 2,000
Volkswagen Group China Facility Hefei
The Hefei facility will be instrumental in developing the upcoming EVs including integrating suppliers and reducing turnaround time. Built with an investment of $1.1 billion, it will generate employment for over 2,000

Speaking about the opening, Ralf Brandstätter, Volkswagen AG Board Member for China, said, “With our ‘in China, for China’ strategy, we are fully integrating ourselves into China's industrial ecosystem. This enables us to customise our products even faster to meet the needs of Chinese customers. In a dynamic market environment, a high pace of development is crucial for competitiveness. The Volkswagen China Technology Company in Hefei is the central interface between all our joint venture companies and our Chinese partners, allowing us to make all decisions on products for China directly in China and launch them onto the market quickly. This boosts efficiency, increases the speed of development, and optimises our cost structure."

The new facility will also help accelerate the development time of the upcoming four new VW electric vehicles. The company says it will be able to roll out the electric models in about 2.5 years with the timeline shortened by 30 per cent when compared to the automaker’s previous timelines. Moreover, the brand will integrate local suppliers early on in order to ensure 100 per cent localisation that will help achieve higher economies of scale. Volkswagen also said it will develop China-specific solutions for its electric vehicles including the battery, electric drive and electric motor.

Volkswagen conceded the title of the best-selling carmaker in China to local EV giant BYD in 2022. The new A Main Platform aims to help the automaker regain the title with a stronger push in electric vehicle sales. The four upcoming affordable EVs will be built in collaboration with VW’s local partners SAIC and FAW. Moreover, the company will also introduce two new mid-size EVs built with its third partner XPeng.

Watch: Volkswagen ID.4 EV showcased in India, launch soon

Meanwhile, Volkswagen retails the ID. range in China that has gained much popularity. The ID.3 is the brand’s bestseller and received a price cut earlier this year, helping catapult sales from 2,200 units per month to 10,000 units per month. The new affordable range will largely compete against the many entry-level EVs in China from local manufacturers and will be positioned below the ID.3.

Globally, VW will introduce 10 new electric cars by 2026 and is in the process of accelerating the launch timelines. The automaker also plans to bring the ID.5 electric SUV to the Indian market and the electric SUV is expected to arrive as a CBU carrying a hefty price tag. An affordable EV from Volkswagen in India is still some time away.

First Published Date: 28 Nov 2023, 15:28 PM IST
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