Volkswagen previews its EV future with the I.D. concept

The automaker hopes for brighter days ahead.

You wouldn't blame Volkswagen if it never wanted to hear the word "diesel" ever again. The German company desperately needs to swing from dirty to clean, so it launched the ID, a new platform for its next-gen EVs. The first model is a concept car, but it will eventually be built in some form and arrive to market in 2020. The company plans to build up to 20 different models based on its "Modular Electric Drive Kit" platform, and hopes to sell up to three million electric cars by the year 2025.

I saw the car when it launched yesterday, and if anything, it looks better than the futuristic illustrations that leaked earlier. That design looks sharp from any angle (except maybe head-on) and I like the idea of a sliding rear door on a hatchback, even though it'll probably get axed from the final model.

The inside is pure concept, with an LED dash display, retractable steering wheel for autonomous mode, and rear cameras instead of mirrors. Though concept cars are often dark or colorful, it's likely not a coincidence that the ID concept is white with blue interior accents. In effect, VW wants to make a fresh, bright start and put the dark days of diesel-gate and emissions cheating behind it.