Dear VW, affordable cars are needed, not expensive trucks

Let’s get real. The US auto industry has forced SUV’s and trucks on us because the profits on them are, like trucks, huge. The ads play to your vulnerabilities and make you think your manliness won’t be satisfied with some wimpy ass car or SUV. Oh no! You need the biggest, longest, fatest truck there is or you’re just not a man! I know. I owned a truck. My first ‘car’ was a hand-me-down 1980 Chevrolet C10 Stepside 2×4 sporting a small block V8 and 33″ Dick Cepeks. After it died, it was replaced with a 1990 Chevrolet 1500 4×4 Stepside.

The people

Yes, owning a truck is important if you’re working a farm, towing cars, cows, horses, or a forty-five foot aluminum phallus down the freeway. But for the rest of the population who are students, or working the “front line” jobs, all that’s needed is a reliable daily driver that can do over 200 plus miles on a single charge. Cars with fast DC charging because these owners are most likely to be renters without home AC charging capability.

As much as I love the OG International Harvester Scout, I’ll be the first to admit that the US does not need another $65,000 electric truck. The majority of folks do not have the resources for such a purchase, nor do I quite frankly.

The e-Golf

Which brings me to my current ride, a 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf.

Purchased to replace a near new Subaru Crosstrek, it was one of the last three available in our state, if not the country in 2021. With it I made my first ever long distance EV run – from the Bay Area back to the Northwest of Los Angeles. What was planned to be an 8 hour ride home turned into a grueling 12 hour slog. But that’s a story for another time. Notwithstanding two glaring weak spots – 50kW max DC charging and 124 miles of range, I love the e-Golf. It’s been the perfect second car and an excellent choice for our daughter to learn how to drive.

Life changes

The e-Golf served me well during a very difficult period of my life. When my dad passed away from pneumonia while recovering from a fall, the e-Golf and I made multiple 200+ round trip journeys from Northwest Los Angeles deep into Riverside County. The ride was comfortable and problem free, notwithstanding charging for an hour each at a Target on the way out and a Walmart on the way home. I made great use of the time getting breakfast or dinner depending on when I was passing through. I filled the time using the restroom, or just taking a walk around the property to stretch and contemplate what was going on in my life.

Read “Road Tripping an EV. Challenging but getting easier.”

Our kid is now making choices about college. We recently embarked on a week long trip in our e-tron to tour campuses in Northern California and Southern Oregon. We learned first year students are told not to have vehicles on campus. Nonetheless, how she gets home during breaks is something we need to seriously think about. If she is to drive, then we need a vehicle that affords us low insurance costs, affordable energy costs, low or no maintenance costs, and survivability requirements for a young driver to successfully navigate the 700+ mile trek. For her, Volkswagen’s ID.2all would be a perfect choice.

The answer 2 all

According to VW, the ID.2all is to have an estimated 250 miles of range and 125kW DC charging. This would make the drive home from up North an 8-9 hour ride. Even though the ID.2all has the external size of the Polo, the interior space is that of a Golf. There is plenty of room for a suitcase or two of laundry with 15.6 cubic feet of rear cargo space behind the rear seats. Additionally, there will be lockable storage under the rear seat. Even better is the washtub of storage under the rear subfloor.

VW has shifted focus away from moving up market and back to being true to its name “The People’s Car”. The ID.2all has a lot to offer. The best part is the asking price, 25,000 Euros (about $26,000 USD). At that price, the 2026 VW ID.2all puts a compelling package up against the likes of the Chevrolet Volt EV ($25,600) and EUV ($27,200), Nissan Leaf ($28,040), and Mini Cooper SE ($29,900), the only vehicles currently for sale in the US with base prices under $30,000. Bump that number up to $35,000 and we can include the Hyundai Kona ($33,550), and Mazda MX-30 ($33,470). Just in case you are wondering why I left out the Kia Niro EV, well it starts at a whopping $39,450.

The answer?

Look, I get why VW wants to build trucks for the US market, they generate huge margins. I also understand the labyrinthian Federal EV incentives require a percentage of the car and its battery need to be built in the US. Volkswagen has stated they intend to build a battery plant and have already lauched a battery research center. Maybe once the US battery plant is online VW might have a change of heart and offer the ID.2all in the US. I would be the first to trade-in, what would then be a gently used e-Golf.

Read the media release

The ID.2all is what the US needs right now. Leaning on their marketing, the US needs a VW for my daughter’s generation. One that will provide years of safe, solid, reliable, and affordable electric car transportation.