Since the Dieselgate scandal broke more than two years ago, Volkswagen has spent a great deal of time talking about its plans for electric cars.
It has rolled out three concept vehicles within the new Volkswagen ID family, and discussed its dedicated electric-car architecture that will underpin all of them.
Now, the company has committed to a date for producing its first high-volume dedicated battery-electric car.
In a release last Friday, Volkswagen said it is 100 weeks away from the first production of the Volkswagen ID five-door electric hatchback.
That car, the first in the ID lineup, was unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, and will be its highest-volume electric car in Europe.
Volkswagen made its announcement to mark the “MEB Supplier Summit” event, a meeting of the various companies providing components and assemblies for the vehicles to be built on its new MEB electric-car architecture.
One hundred weeks from last Friday puts the start of production sometime in November 2019. So now the company has a firm commitment to a date.
The Golf-sized compact Volkswagen ID hatchback is said to have the interior volume of a mid-size sedan like the Volkswagen Passat.
Its 125-kilowatt (168-horsepower) motor is mounted in the rear, under the load bay, which gives the car’s designers far more flexibility in design, permitting a shorter and lower nose and more interior volume.
Volkswagen hasn’t specified a final battery capacity for the ID, but it is expected to be around 60 kilowatt-hours, or large enough to deliver real-world range of 200 miles or more.
The ID hatchback won’t be sold in North America, however, or at least not initially.
The first of the Volkswagen-branded electric cars to go on sale in the U.S. will be the VW ID Crozz compact crossover in 2020, as the company announced at last week’s Los Angeles auto show.
That will be followed by an as-yet unnamed electric sedan that hasn’t yet been shown as a concept.
Then will come the Volkswagen ID Buzz, the wildly popular all-electric reinterpretation of the classic VW Microbus. That concept debuted in January at the Detroit auto show.
CHECK OUT: Volkswagen ID: more details of all-electric concept car at Paris Motor Show (Sep 2016)
Volkswagen announced in August the ID Buzz would go into production in 2022 as a joint project with its commercial vehicles division, which will likely offer panel-van, pickup, and other utility versions of the electric bus.
But the Volkswagen ID hatchback targets Europe’s most popular vehicle class: so-called C-segment, or compact, five-door hatchbacks.