The Volkswagen ID. 2all Previews an Affordable EV Future
Affordable EVs are a hot topic, but no automaker has any real bead on what an affordable EV looks like. However, the manufacturer of “The People’s Car” is now on track to deliver “The electric people’s car” in the form of the VW ID. 2all.
The ID. 2all takes Volkswagen back to its roots
Setting aside the rather *ahem*, dubious conception of the original Beetle, it was a formula that worked well for its time. Affordable, reliable, just spacious enough, and attractively styled, the original Beetle was set up for a lifetime of success.
Designed by Ferdinand Porsche, the sweeping curves of the original Beetle were compelling in their own right. When wrapped over an impossibly practical vehicle, they created an icon.
Today, the Beetle is gone, as is the general appreciation for small cars, at least in America. But in Europe, the idea that “small is beautiful” still works, and that’s what makes the VW ID. 2all such a compelling concept.
The new VW EV is compact, capable, and cheap
According to VW, the ID. 2all comes with a base price of just under $26,500. That’s good news, even if the brand hasn’t yet committed to bringing the car to America. Even better, the concept photos don’t look like a half-baked, wild-eyed vision of a distant future product. In fact, Volkswagen could start selling the car as-is tomorrow, and the ID. 2all wouldn’t look out of place.
The performance of the new VW EV gives even more reason to be optimistic. With zero to 60 mph acceleration taking just under seven seconds, the little hatchback is already on-par with the vaunted Golf GTI. Battery capacity is still under wraps (and likely not yet fully-formed), but the German company aims for a 280-mile targeted range upon debut.
Since we don’t expect the car to enter production until 2024, those finer details may take a bit more time to emerge. But the point remains; the ID. 2all promises both power and range at a price point that is easy to stomach.
Early details show a supreme handling hatchback
Whether you care about this kind of thing or not, the handling in the VW ID. 2all should be sublime. The low-mounted battery pack is a longstanding benefit to the electric car, but in this tiny VW hatch, there are other factors at play.
For starters, the ID. 2all features a nine-inch shorter overall body length than the MK8 GTI. However, the wheelbase is nearly identical to the hot hatch. Those wheels pushed to the corners mean almost no outboard weight, which should make handling more direct without creating a harsh ride. Combine the two and the ID. 2all should handle like the world’s most comfortable go-kart.
Bland styling is a step backward
VW has been playing it safe since the Dieselgate debacle, but models like the aggressive MK8 GTI and R models and the throwback ID. Buzz gave us hope that more iconic designs were in the making. Unfortunately, even the concept drawings of the ID. 2all feature well…nothing.
Aside from the LED strip across the grille, the new VW electric hatchback looks as bland and featureless as a Kansas interstate. Sorry, Kansas.
Inside, VW’s obsession with digital screens continues, though it does have some physical controls which offer some level of hope from a UI standpoint. And despite its smaller size, the ID. 2all offers more functional interior space than the current MK8 Golf variants. A hidden storage area under the trunk is especially functional, while legroom and surface cargo space rival that of its larger, gas-powered siblings.
Will the VW ID. 2all come to America?
Succinctly, no. Though no official statement says so, but in an interview with The Autopian a representative from Volkswagen of America stated that there is no plan to sell the tiny VW EV in the states. We are, in an overused phrase, disappointed but not surprised.
That said, the powertrain and platform could be used in future versions for a hot hatch in America, especially considering VW’s statement that all R models will be EVs by 2030. For now, we’ll just have to admire from across the pond.