Major car brands will launch affordable EVs after car companies priced electric vehicles for most customers
A major car brand is set to launch an affordable ‘entry-level electric vehicle’ to combat rising prices of electric vehicles for customers.
The new Vauxhall project will be priced at around £22,000, according to the head of parent brand Opel.
The entry-level city car is seen as a compact, urban-oriented offering to sit below the Vauxhall Corsa Electric – which is priced from £32,445.
The new model will occupy a similar space to that of the Vauxhall Adam and Viva.
As a result, this will make the entry-level electric car an immediate rival to the upcoming Renault 5 and Kia EV2.
Florian Huettel, chief executive of Opel, Vauxhall’s parent brand, said the city car was “possible” because “there is space in the (new) range for a smaller model (of the Corsa)”.
However, Auto Car stated that it has not confirmed whether such a car has been designed or not.
Huettl did hint that developing new energy-dense battery chemistry would be key to the Vauxhall city car.
It is reported that this will reduce production costs, enhance interior space and reduce the weight of the car.
Reducing the overall size of battery packs would also allow small EVs to offer ranges similar to those of existing larger models.
Furthermore, it will maintain a compact footprint and low price.
“That’s the goal,” Huettl added. “Our target for the next generation is €25,000 (£21,663) (for an electric car).”
He added that cheap electric cars have become a “huge attraction” in the automotive world, especially from customers, and the brand must react to this matter.
If Vauxhall wanted an affordable entry-level electric car, there are several options they could use to design it.
Parent company Stellantis has a range of platforms, including the upcoming STLA Small architecture, replacing the E-CMP platform used by the current Corsa Electric and Peugeot e-208.
The STLA’s compact architecture is designed to accommodate vehicles ranging from Class A to Class C, with batteries between 37 kWh and 82 kWh.
It will also allow for a range of engines and power outputs, starting at around 94bhp – ideal for a small city car.
Figures released by Stellantis indicate that the platform could be used for small cars up to 3,600mm long and 1,700mm wide.
Vauxhall could also adopt sister company Citroen’s smart car platform.
Citroen CEO Thierry Koskas has previously hinted at the architecture being available for other Stellantis brands.
It can also be used in cars smaller than the average compact car.
“It is assumed that the Smart Car platform will be used in the future in other cars from Citroën, and perhaps from other brands,” he said.
“This is a platform that will receive different vehicles, because it is a very promising platform where we can do a lot of things – not just, by the way, B-segment hatchbacks.”
However, Vauxhall will not initially try to match the €20,000 (£17,337) asking price for upcoming electric cars such as the Volkswagen ID 1.
“I think the target of 20,000 euros is out of reach,” Huettl said. “The cost of materials is too high.”
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