What will you say to a cute-looking electric car that costs less than $25,000? If you feel tempted, Volkswagen will sell one to you eventually, depending on where you live. However, the route the German automaker is taking to bring an affordable car to the market is quite unusual by labeling it a concept. It teased the ID. Life, a production-ready-looking four-door electric hatchback at the IAA Mobility conference in Munich, Germany.
The boxy compact will go on sale in 2025 so bear in mind that Volkswagen might change some features.
Underpinning the ID. Life is Volkswagen’s modular MEB electric platform. The platform is versatile enough to support different models at different price points.
Battery & range
The ID. Life comes with a modest 57 kWh battery that Volkswagen claims lasts 250 miles on a single charge based on WLTP testing procedures. We do not know about the charging yet.
Volkswagen is putting a single 172 kW electric motor on the front axle. It is powerful enough to accelerate the car from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under seven seconds, an impressive feat at the price range.
Inside the ID. Life, a yoke in place of a steering wheel reminds you this is a concept car, although Tesla might have changed how we view car steering with its insistence on a yoke in the Model S refresh.
You would wonder what is amiss until you notice the absence of a dashboard. Volkswagen wants you to use your smartphone or tablet to run the car’s infotainment system instead. Whether this is a cost-cutting move or just another wild feature of a concept car is yet to be determined. However, you will get creature comforts like wireless charging.
Another dreamy feature is a projector and screen that rolls out of the dashboard. Volkswagen wants you to watch movies or play games on the screen from the back seat with the front seats folded down. And yes, there is a video game console thrown in.
While gunning for an affordable car, Volkswagen was also entertaining environmental conservation ideas. For example, this Golf-looking electric car has a roof and hood made from recycled PET bottles. The tires are made from a mixture of bio-oil, natural rubber, and rice husks.
Americans will sadly miss out on this cute and affordable electric car because they prefer larger cars. Instead, Volkswagen is targeting the European markets with the ID. Life.