The one for the small and affordable electric cars for the masses.

By the way of revealing the ID. LIFE concept model, Volkswagen has announced also the small version of the modular electric drive kit (MEB) platform, which was specially developed for the small car segment.

The MEB-Small is the foundation to introduce small and more affordable ID. electric cars, starting in 2025, instead of using EV conversions from ICE, like in the Volkswagen e-up!.

Affordable, entry-level vehicles are always a big challenge for manufacturers from a profitability perspective. According to Volkswagen, the MEB-Small will allow offering models that will cost €20,000-€25,000 ($23,770-$29,700).

MEB-Small

A big change to the MEB-Small, compared to the general MEB platform, is front-wheel-drive (MEB can be RWD or AWD).

In the case of the Volkswagen ID. LIFE concept, the manufacturer hints at a battery capacity of 62 kWh battery (57 kWh usable), which is the middle version in the MEB (45/48 kWh, 58/62 kWh and 77/82 kWh).

We can guess that if the MEB-Small is able to handle 62 kWh, then it will be able also to get a 48 kWh version.

Maybe it’s also a hint of how to understand the pricing range:

  • €20,000 for the 48 kWh version and 300 km (186 miles) of WLTP range
  • €25,000 for the 62 kWh version and 400 km (249 miles) of WLTP range

The 172 kW and 290 Nm electric motor used in the Volkswagen ID. LIFE concept might be for the higher trim levels as well, as the entry-level version probably would still be brisk even with a smaller motor.

The manufacturer said also that the DC fast charging will replenish 163 km (101 miles) or about 40% of the total capacity (like 20-60% SOC) in as low as 10 minutes.

Volkswagen said that the launch of an affordable €20,000 electric car model will happen in 2025, which is about four years from now, but two years earlier than initially scheduled.

We can be pretty sure that multiple brands within the Volkswagen Group will use the MEB-Small in their entry-level EVs.

Volkswagen ID. LIFE concept specs:

  • about 400 km (249 miles) of WLTP range
  • 62 kWh battery (57 kWh usable)
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.9 seconds
  • top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph)
  • front-wheel drive (MEB eco front-wheel drive)
  • peak system output of 172 kW (234 PS) and 290 Nm of torque
  • DC fast charging: Up to 163 km (101 miles) within 10 minutes
  • Dimensions
    Length: 4,091 mm (161.6 in)
    Width: 1,845 mm (72.6 in)
    Height: 1,599 mm (63.0 in)
    Wheelbase: 2,650 mm (104.3 in)
  • Tires: 235/45 R20
  • Luggage compartment volume: 410 to 1,285 litres (14.5 – 45.4 cu ft)
  • Through-loading length: 2250 mm (88.6 in)
  • Ground clearance: 190 mm (7.5 in)
  • Departure angles: front: 26°, rear: 37°
  • platform: Modular electric drive matrix (MEB) – small

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