Volkswagen's Model 3 Competitor Will Be Here in 2020: Here's What to Expect

Volkswagen will build an electric vehicle plant in North America to manufacture a vehicle it hopes can beat the Tesla Model 3.

Scott Keogh, who was named CEO of Volkswagen Group of America in October, told reporters Wednesday ahead of the LA Auto Show that he’s in talks to establish a factory that will enable VW to make electric vehicles in North America — and have them for sale by 2020.

Keogh also said the mysterious vehicle that VW will build cost somewhere between $30,000 to $40,000. This would place it right in the price range of Elon Musk’s much-hyped Model 3, which has recently been given a new $45,000 starting price — the car has long been marketed as a $35,000 EV but Tesla hasn’t yet been able to get the costs down.

“We are 100 percent deep in the process of ‘We will need an electric car plant in North America,’ and we’re holding those conversations now,” Keogh told journalists at the Los Angeles auto show, reported Reuters.

VW Group of America CEO Scott Keough at the LA Auto Show this week.
VW Group of America CEO Scott Keough at the LA Auto Show this week. 

Could VW’s take on budget-friendly EVs standup to the fun features and semi-autonomous driving capabilities that have converted a host of consumers to Tesla drivers?

“The market timing actually is quite perfect,” Keogh told journalists after the VW press conference, NPR reported. “You need to have this intersection of, ‘Can you get costs down enough that you can produce a car at that price point, make enough money, have the technology capabilities that this is a car that we would want to put in the marketplace, and have market acceptance?’”

Volkswagen Electric Car: What Could It Look Like?

The rumored VW Neo.
The rumored VW Neo.

VW announced a roster of four EV concepts it plans to bring to market on its new electric car platform. The still-rumored VW Neo hatchback is the first vehicle the company could begin manufacturing in 2019, with sales expected to begin in 2020, reported Bloomberg.

The compact car is anticipated to come in three different battery pack variants and have a range of 205 miles (330 kilometers), according to an Auto Express report.

Volkswagen electric car concept
The Neo is expected to start at $30,000. That's $5,000 cheaper than the Model 3's current starting price.

Keogh confirmed that because of VW’s self-imposed deadline, this vehicle would initially be imported from Europe where the company has pivoted three of its plants to producing exclusively electric cars.

Volkswagen Electric Car: What’s to Come After 2020?

The German auto giant is aiming to build 50 million EVs in the coming years. The Neo is largely expected to lead the push with it affordability, but the company is also planning a car that will cost as little as $21,000.

Bloomberg described this vehicle as a “subcompact crossover.” That lines up with the I.D. Crozz concept that VW announced. The company has set a goal to sell about 200,000 of these crossovers per year.

If these ambitious plans pan out, Tesla might have some stiff competition in the next few years.

Media via VW, Volkswagen