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Volkswagen Plans $21,000 Subcompact E-Car To Challenge Tesla

Volkswagen AG (VKW.L,VLKAF.PK,VOW.BE) plans to add a subcompact crossover costing about 18,000 euros or $21,000 to its all-electric I.D. range, expanding its lineup of zero-emissions vehicles that are more affordable than those of Tesla Inc., Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.

The entry level vehicle may be built at VW's factory in Emden, Germany. Sales could start sometime after 2020, and the company expects to sell about 200,000 per year, the report said.

The I.D. range is at the heart of one of the auto industry's most aggressive electric-car initiatives -- a plan to put 50 models on the road across the group, including volume brands such as VW, Seat and Skoda.

The first in the lineup is the I.D. Neo, which will be made at Zwickau, Germany, and begin sales in 2020. With less complexity and fewer model variants, VW may be able to produce the car in roughly half the time needed to assemble a Golf hatchback, according to the people. Volkswagen reportedly said it will be sold for a price of a comparable diesel car, suggesting a price tag of roughly 23,000 euros.

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