Volkswagen EV Release Approaches
Pictures of Volkswagen’s first Chinese electric vehicle built via its joint venture with JAC recently surfaced from patent filings. The vehicle looks very similar to the iEV7S, with some minor cosmetic changes.
Rumors & Spy Shots
The Volkswagen and JAC joint venture should be presenting its 3 models by the end of the quarter, according to Gasgoo, and spy images indicate the first car will be heavily based off of the iEV7S (pictured in the images below).
It is rumoured that these more affordable electric cars will be sold under the SEAT brand in China, which is supported by the square logo on the battery charge port. Although, other more recent rumors indicate it will be under a new brand, Sol.
The changes can be seen in the front and rear but it’s easy to see the JAC iEV7S under the SEAT styling.
The choice of building its electric vehicles from an existing lineup is smart, as JAC electric cars are well designed and doing this will drastically cut entry to market time and costs since the factories and suppliers are already working to make the iEV7S and can probably easily migrate based on demand.
The iEV7S costs 119,500 yuan ($19,000) after subsidies. It comes equipped with an electric motor with 116 horsepower / 270 Nm of torque, and it has a stated range of 280 kilometres (174 miles), but that is not a real-world range.
This is a good package for its price. It’s unlikely that Volkswagen will change too much for its own offering. It’s more likely to add features as the product and brand matures.
My personal experience with the iEV7S and other iEVs makes me confident that this should meet Volkswagen goal — an affordable but well designed EV. Volkswagen’s first Chinese electric vehicle won’t be a Volkswagen-only EV effort, as illustrated well in the fuzzy screenshot of a Chinese Volkswagen site below. It is possible that this is more of a large-scale compliance car effort to avoid problems in the near term with China’s new electric vehicle policy.
Previous Related News
Volkswagen and JAC have been in the news for their joint venture. In July 2017, Volkswagen and JAC signed an agreement for a new joint venture to build electric cars in China in front of Chancellor Merkel and Premier Li Keqiang in Berlin. In November 2018, Volkswagen and JAC agreed to cooperate more deeply in the development of vehicles, design, product quality, and underlying technology.
What comes next? We don’t know, but we’ll be sure to report on it once we find out.