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Volkswagen wants you to live in its cheap electric car

Christian Fernsby |
Volkswagen is once again speeding up the transformation to electric mobility with its Accelerate strategy, making sustainable mobility accessible to even more people by 2025, a whole two years earlier than originally planned, Volkswagen will launch an ID. family model for the small car segment.

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It will cost approximately 20,000 euros.

The vision of a fully electric small car for the urban environment is centred around people and communal experiences. The concept car combines sustainability and digitalisation with extremely flexible usage: the ID. LIFE can become a mini cinema or a gaming centre, for instance, or simply be used for relaxing in the open air.

The design of the ID. LIFE is strikingly clear, pared-down and high-quality. Decorative elements and add-on parts are dispensed with, as is any complex mix of materials. The horizontal division between the body, glass surfaces and roof also contributes to the car’s purist appearance. An individualised and removable roof made of air chamber textile lends an open-air feeling in the ID. LIFE, while also reducing the vehicle weight.

The ID. LIFE is based on a smaller variant of Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB) that has been developed specifically for the small car segment. This is the first time a vehicle based on the MEB has front-wheel drive. With its 172 kW (234 PS) electric motor, the ID. LIFE accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds, while its 57 kWh high-voltage battery enables a range of some 400 kilometres (WLTP).

The sustainable character of the ID. LIFE is reflected particularly in the choice of materials and paint finishes. In the clear coat for the bodywork, wood chips are used as a natural colouring agent along with a bio-based hardener. The air chamber textile for the roof and front cover is made from 100% recycled PET bottles. In the interior, wood in the dashboard and rear seat surrounds is combined with ArtVelours Eco for the seat surfaces and door trims. Bio-oil, natural rubber and rice husks are just some of the materials that serve as a basis for the tyres on the ID. LIFE.

The ID. LIFE is a reliable companion for digital experiences of various kinds. For example, it can be converted into a cinema or gaming lounge in no time at all. The vehicle comes with a video game console and projector, as well as a projection screen that extends from the dash panel when required. Other devices can be connected as needed to the 230-volt / 16-amp power supply in the interior. The seating design, too, is extremely flexible, in keeping with the idea of the car as a companion for all situations and lifestyles. For instance, the front seat bench can be completely folded down, as can the rear seat bench. This enables a range of different possibilities, from cinema seating, to a bed measuring around two metres in length, to a cargo version that maximises luggage volume.

Cameras and a display replace both the exterior and interior mirrors. Essential driving functions are controlled via a touch panel on the hexagonal, open-topped steering wheel, and a smartphone can be integrated in the operating system. Personal devices – whether smartphones or tablets – can be used to operate the navigation system, for instance. Music, films and games stored on the device can be used seamlessly in the ID. LIFE, with visuals displayed on the projection screen.

The expansion of the ID. family into the small car segment at prices starting from 20,000 euros is another key step towards fully electrified mobility. By 2030, Volkswagen aims to increase the share of all-electric models in total vehicle sales in Europe to at least 70 per cent and in North America and China to at least 50 per cent.


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