Car manufacturer Vauxhall is considering the development of an entry-level electric city car that will be priced from around £22,000, according to the boss of parent brand Opel.
The new entry point is designed to combat the rising prices of electric cars for customers.
It’s touted that the EV will be an urban-oriented proposition to sit below the Vauxhall Corsa Electric – which is priced from £32,445 – in an arena similar to that previously occupied by the likes of the Vauxhall Adam and Viva.
That would make the new EV a rival to the forthcoming Renault 5 and the Kia EV2. Florian Huettl, CEO of Vauxhall’s parent brand Opel, said a city car “was possible” as “there is space in the [new] range for a smaller model [than the Corsa]”, although he wouldn’t confirm if such a car had already been designed.
Huettl also hinted that the key to an electric Vauxhall city car would most likely be the development of new energy-dense battery chemistries, which will bring production costs down considerably, as well as enhance the interior space and lower the total weight of the vehicle.
Reducing the overall size of battery packs would allow future small EVs to offer ranges similar to those of larger existing models while maintaining a compact footprint and a low price point.
“That is the goal,” added Huettl. “Our target for the next generation is €25,000 for an EV.” He added that cheaper electric cars are becoming “a big pull” within the automotive world, especially from customers, and the brand needed to react to this.
Vauxhall has several options it can use as a basis to engineer a future electric city car. Parent company Stellantis has a range of platforms, including the forthcoming STLA Small architecture, which will replace the E-CMP platform used by the current Corsa Electric, along with the Peugeot e-208.
Vauxhall could also adopt sister firm Citroen’s Smart Car platform. Citroen CEO Thierry Koskas has previously hinted at the architecture being made available for other Stellantis brands.
“The Smart Car platform is supposed to go in the future in other vehicles from Citroën, maybe from other brands,” said Koskas. “This is a platform that will receive different vehicles, because it’s a very promising platform where we can do a lot of things – and not only, by the way, B-segment hatch cars.”