VW has been quick to compare its upcoming first all-electric vehicle built from the ground up, codenamed I.D. Concept, to Tesla’s Model 3.
Specs-wise, it appears to be competitive with the Model 3 on paper, but they never gave a precise price range until now.
At the Automobil Forum this week (via automobil-produktion – German), Volkswagen chief strategist Thomas Sedran said that they were aiming for the vehicle to be about $7,000 to $8,000 cheaper than the Model 3, which would mean about 25,000 euros (~$28,000).
It follows a series of comparison that VW has been making with Tesla’s Model 3.
Before even unveiling the concept last year, VW announced that it would beat the Model 3 and X in electric range by misrepresenting the NEDC-rated range of the Model 3. In a presentation, it pinned the two vehicles against each other even though they are both unreleased yet and they are planned to be released about 2 to 3 years apart.
VW mislabeled the range displayed for the Tesla Model 3. The footnote clearly shows that the range should be ‘NEFZ’, which is the German abbreviation for ‘NEDC’, but they used the only range Tesla disclosed for the Model 3 which is “a minimum of 215 EPA-estimated miles” (345 km) – not NEDC.
Tesla didn’t release estimated NEDC range for the Model 3 yet, but by extrapolating the figure, it should be closer to 250 miles (~403 km) or pretty much the same as the upcoming VW, unlike what this chart suggests.
Furthermore, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said earlier this year that “anything Tesla can do, we can surpass” and added that the I.D. Concept should beat the Model 3:
“We are confident that in this new world we will become a market leader. [Tesla] is a competitor we take seriously. Tesla comes from a high-priced segment, however they are moving down,” Mr Diess said, referring to the $35,000 Model 3, which enters production this summer. “It’s our ambition, with our new architecture, to stop them there, to rein them in.”
The actual vehicle is a ‘Golf-size’ all-electric hatchback based on the I.D. concept that they unveiled last year.
While VW has been comparing the vehicle to the Model 3, Tesla is instead comparing the Model 3 to BMW’s 3-Series and Audi’s A3 in an attempt to steal market shares from mid-luxury gas-powered vehicles.
We learned last month that the VW plans to launch the vehicle in Europe in 2019, probably a year after Tesla’s Model 3 reaches the market, and it’s not clear when it will be available in the US.
Volkswagen appears to be focusing its electric vehicle effort in Europe and China in order to comply with fuel and ZEV mandates.