Desperate to shake off the stench of Dieselgate, Volkswagen is working on all-new, standalone electric car to take on the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt. Using new 48-volt onboard power supply technology that will deliver a real-world range of at least 186 miles, the unnamed vehicle is understood to be part of an innovative plan by newly installed Volkswagen CEO, Dr. Herbert Diess, to improve the brand's image.

Dr. Diess wants to make his mark in the automotive world with the world's first high-volume, accessible electric car and although it will share much of its technology with the EV version of the upcoming eighth-generation VW Golf, it will do so with a lower cost.

Although it's not clear whether the car will be a sedan or a hatch, it will offer unique styling and a potentially better cruising range than the e-Golf.

To be based on the same front-wheel-drive platform as the next e-Golf – dubbed MEB architecture – the zero emission battery-electric vehicle could be launched before the arrival of the eighth-generation Golf, which is expected late in 2018. However, Volkswagen has yet to decide whether the new EV or the new e-Golf will reach the market first.

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