A major car brand will launch an affordable “entry-level electric vehicle” to combat rising electric car prices for customers.
According to the boss of the parent brand Opel, the new development from Vauxhall will cost from around 22,000 pounds.
The entry-level city car is intended to be a small, city-focused model to sit below the Vauxhall Corsa Electric – which costs £32,445.
The new model would occupy a similar space to the Vauxhall Adam and Viva.
This would immediately make the entry-level electric vehicle a competitor to the upcoming Renault 5 and Kia EV2.
The CEO of Vauxhall’s parent brand Opel, Florian Hüttl, said a city car was “possible” because there was space “in it.” [new] Range for a smaller model [than the Corsa]“.
However, car car report that he would not confirm whether such a car had been designed.
Hüttl hinted that developing new energy-dense battery chemistries would be key to a Vauxhall city car.
He states that this would reduce production costs, increase interior space and reduce vehicle weight.
Reducing the overall size of battery packs would also allow small electric vehicles to offer similar ranges to larger existing models.
Additionally, they would maintain a compact footprint and low price.
“That is the goal,” added Hüttl. “Our target for the next generation is €25,000 (£21,663) [for an EV].”
He added that cheaper electric cars are becoming a “big draw” in the automotive world, particularly among customers, and that the brand needs to respond to this.
If Vauxhall wants to develop an affordable entry-level electric vehicle, it has several development options available to it.
Parent company Stellantis has a number of platforms, including the upcoming STLA Small architecture, which is intended to replace the E-CMP platform of the current Corsa Electric and Peugeot e-208.
The STLA Small architecture is designed for A to C segment vehicles with batteries between 37 kWh and 82 kWh.
In addition, a range of engines and power levels are possible, starting at around 94 hp – ideal for a small city car.
Figures released by Stellantis suggest the platform can be used for cars as small as 3600mm long and 1700mm wide.
Vauxhall could also adopt sister company Citroen’s smart car platform.
Citroen CEO Thierry Koskas has previously hinted that the architecture will be made available to other Stellantis brands.
It could also be used by cars smaller than the average supermini.
“The Smart Car platform will also be used in other Citroën vehicles in the future, perhaps also from other brands,” he said.
“This is a platform that will accommodate different vehicles because it is a very promising platform on which we can do a lot of things – and not just B-segment hatches, by the way.”
However, Vauxhall will not initially attempt to meet the €20,000 (£17,337) target price for upcoming electric vehicles such as the Volkswagen ID 1.
Hüttl said: “In my opinion, the goal of 20,000 euros is unattainable. The cost of materials is too high.”
Elsewhere, Google has unveiled its world’s first self-driving AI engine.
The internet giant’s artificial intelligence-powered electric car called Firefly has been unveiled after being designed and built in Detroit.
Read more on the Irish Sun
And what could be the world’s most luxurious electric RV features three rooms, as well as a touchscreen command center and a hidden TV.
A Bristol-based vehicle manufacturer has developed the new Elite motorhome, which is receiving much praise.