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VW's electric I.D. hatchbacks testing — 250-plus miles range, price of a Golf

I.D. Neo production is slated to begin in less than a year

VW I.D. test mules
VW I.D. test mules / Image Credit: Volkswagen AG
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Volkswagen has released photos of the new all-electric I.D. hatchback undergoing road testing. Heavily camouflaged but recognizable, the I.D. mules are apparently testing on coastal roads in South Africa.

The overall shape and some of the detailing on the I.D. mules is visible, and it seems the large show car wheels have been dialed down a couple of inches for real-life roads, yet they retain an aero look with slats. The tailgate's edges extend far on both sides, incorporating much of the taillights just like on the concept, yet the light clusters have been reshaped and enlarged. The large glass roof, also seen on the concept, appears to be retained, but everyday features like conventional side mirrors and a rear wiper have been included. VW has earlier mentioned a production start date of November 2019, meaning the mules have less than year of testing to go.

When the 2020 model year I.D. reaches customers, it should be priced "at the level of a comparable diesel car," according to Volkswagen's E-mobility board member Thomas Ulbrich. In Europe, this would mean a price tag of some $30,000, which is reasonable if Volkswagen wants to sell these EVs like Golfs. VW's yearly EV sales are projected to reach 150,000 units in 2020, with a bold boost to 1 million just five years later.

The production I.D, which can be called Neo, is to have a range of some 250-370 miles, or at best double the maximum range of a 2018 e-Golf — which is priced from $30,495 in the U.S. VW's E-mobility director, Christian Senger, has stated that the I.D will be "the first fully interconnected electric vehicle that is 100 percent suitable for day-to-day use, and millions of people will be able to afford it." Last month, VW's CEO Herbert Diess said the company has made deals to buy batteries for "50 million vehicles." Diess also said that while the I.D. will physically be the size of a Golf, the MEB electric platform will give it the greater interior space of a Passat.

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