Volkswagen will delay the launch of its forthcoming small EV due to a relaxation of expected tougher Euro 7 pollution laws, allowing ICE vehicles to sold for longer than predicted.
The new small electric hatchback, based on the ID.2all concept revealed in March 2022, was due to arrive in 2025 and sit below the ID.3 with a retail price of around 25,000 euros (£21,500).
It would have been on sale alongside the combustion-engined Polo and have costed more – Polo prices start at just over 21,500 euros (£18,500) in Germany.
But the German firm has reportedly decided to reveal the car in 2025 and has kicked the launch date back by a year to 2026, Automotive News Europe reported – citing German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport – due to Euro 7 pollution rules being watered down.
Big European car brands such as Volkswagen expected existing small petrol and diesel hatchbacks would have become unprofitable to sell due to the introduction of tougher Euro 7 rules.
However, after strong lobbying from the European automotive industry, in September 2023 it was agreed by EU ministers not to change the existing Euro 6 test conditions and emissions limits.
It means small combustion-engined cars such as the Polo can continue to be built without the addition of costly upgrades to meet the stricter Euro 7 rules.
The delay comes as Volkswagen chief Thomas Schafer seeks to cut costs in Europe.
The decision will be a headache for Volkswagen dealers who had expected to be able to sell a cheaper, smaller EV to take the fight to Stellantis and the raft of Chinese brands, who are all launching cars under the £30,000 price bracket.