It is a known fact that Volkswagen is pushing its electrification program with its growing I.D. brand. However, now there are reports of the German giant joining hands with China’s JAC Motors in a joint venture to form SOL, a low-cost electric brand for China.
The first product from this SOL brand has surfaced online revealing a compact crossover, the name of which is yet to be decided. The small crossover seems to be based on JAC’s iEV7S which is also an electric vehicle. Powering SOL EV could be the same drivetrain as the iEV7S, which is a 116bhp and 270Nm electric motor with a range of 280 kilometres. It is expected to have a top speed of 130kmph. The powertrain is sourced from a Chinese company called Doit.
According to the Chinese media, the SOL EV will be slightly expensive compared to its JAC counterpart. The dimensions will be the same though (4,135x1,750,1,560mm) and so will be the powertrain. The extra money would be because of Volkswagen’s engineering apparently. The new SOL EV looks sophisticated enough with its styling. The design seems to be a blend of Chinese preference with a hint of German tweaks, however, the quirky element of the car seems to be the brown accents on the exterior. The new SOL logo can be seen as well.
Volkswagen signed an MOU with JAC in 2016 to develop the electric vehicle in China, their biggest market today. For the new low-cost electric brand, the Wolfsburg-based carmaker intended to use the Seat moniker. However, the Chinese government refused it in favour of a Chinese name. VW settled with the Seat name which can be used as Xiyate in Chinese. But now it’s been confirmed that they have decided to go ahead with the SOL badging in English which translates to ‘sun’ in Spanish. The Chinese name is Sihao, which roughly means ‘thinking’.
The SOL will be limited to the Chinese market, meanwhile, the I.D. will serve the other markets. The I.D. family is now four members strong with the new Vizzion sedan from Geneva joining the ID hatch, Buzz MPV, and the Crozz crossover. Production of first VW electric car will commence with the turn of the decade. The onslaught of the electric vehicles is a part of Volkswagen’s grand scheme to introduce 30 or more electric vehicles and anticipates to sell one million (10 lakh) electric vehicles by the year 2025.