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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Volkswagen in reported talks for affordable EV with Renault

Tipped for introduction in 2027, ID.1 could be the first to emerge should the apparent partnership receive approval.

On the cards for a 2027 reveal below the production ID.2all, Volkswagen’s electric vehicle replacement for the up! will reportedly come by way of a “under discussion” partnership with Renault, according to a newly uncovered report from Germany.

Affordable EV not easy

Earlier this year, Volkswagen boss Thomas Schäfer admitted introducing the ID.1 at its projected starting price of €17 000 (R347 748), while making a profit, won’t be easy given the lingering challenges associated with making an affordable EV.

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Last week, Wolfsburg announced it had been left with no choice but to reduce its workforce by 20% in order to remain profitable amidst dwindling sales in Europe and China.

“The situation is critical. Many markets are under pressure. Our orders, particularly for electric vehicles, have been lower than expected.

“It is clear: the status quo will not be enough. It will not work without significant cuts. We must address critical issues, including personnel,” Schäfer was quoted by AFP as saying in a prior statement.

Volkswagen tie-up with Renault for affordable EV
Partnership with Renault could reduce costs of Volkswagen’s MEB Entry platform destined for the production ID.2all. Image: Volkswagen

Reaffirming that Volkswagen is still committed to the affordable EV project ahead of its all-electric switch in 2030, Schäfer, following the launch of the concept ID.2all in March, remarked that the use of the MEB Entry platform will assist in bringing costs down as it will eventually underpin a number of models within the next 12 to 18 months.

“We are transforming the company rapidly and fundamentally – with the clear objective of making Volkswagen a genuine Love Brand. We are implementing the transformation at pace to bring electric mobility to the masses,” said the former head of Volkswagen South Africa .

Reduced costs, upscaled production

According to a weekend report by business publication Handelsblatt, the “link-up” with Renault will come with further reduced costs, and potentially, a new joint venture for Wolfsburg similar to its current partnership with Ford.

Volkswagen tie-up with Renault for affordable EV
Concept Renault 5. Production all-electric model will debut in February next year at the Geneva Motor Show. Image: Renault

Likely to have an impact not only the MEB platform, but also the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s CMF-B EV, the publication reports the approval will not only reduce costs, but allow Volkswagen to reach its target of introducing the ID.1 below the €20 000 (R409 115) mark versus the €25 000 (R511 394) starting sticker of the ID.2all and indeed, the incoming Renault 5.

At the same time, production will increase from a projected 200 000 to 250 000 vehicles yearly, though at present, it remains unknown as to where assembly will take place.

Volkswagen tie-up with Renault for affordable EV
The EV optimised CMF-B EV platform will underpin the production Renault 5 in 2024. Image: Renault

A partnership expected to contribute to Volkswagen’s saving cost of €10-billion (R204-billion) no further details were revealed, with an unnamed Renault spokesperson telling Reuters that while discussions are taking place, “nothing has been finalised”.

Additional information from carscoops.com.

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