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New electric Volkswagen debuts in Paris next month with 300-mile range

With Volkswagen’s plan to introduce 30 new electric vehicle models by 2025 and build 2 million to 3 million all-electric cars per year by that time, the company needs to get busy. An early sign of VW’s new “electric life” is its announcement of the plan to debut a new electric car prototype at next month’s Paris Motor Show, according to Electrek.

Volkswagen CEO Hebert Diess told German magazine Wirtschafts Woche the new electric vehicle will be about the size of a VW Golf but will have the capacious cargo space of a VW Passat. The prototype to be shown in Paris will be similar to the production model currently slated for the 2018-2019 model year.

Related: Here’s how Volkswagen plans to sell 1 million electrified cars annually

Diess also said the new car’s driving range will be 400 to 600 km (248 to 372 miles) per charge. Electrek speculated that Diess was using the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) mileage rating, which is looser than the EPA rating used in the U.S. It’s likely, however, that the new electric vehicle could have a range of approximately 300 miles, according to Electrek. That driving distance per charge is near the range of much more expensive current Tesla models.

In a related statement, Diess told Wirtschafts Woche that for Volkswagen to make millions of electric cars, it will be necessary to either produce its own batteries or buy batteries made in Germany. This statement seems to confirm earlier rumors that VW is planning to build its own battery factory. Tesla has a battery factory, Mercedes is now in the battery business, and it only makes sense that any automaker that intends to go into large-scale electric vehicle production also needs to make batteries. The risk of relying on third-party vendors otherwise would be too great.

The Paris Motor Show runs from October 1-16. Press week precedes the public show and that’s when specific information about the new VW and new-tech models from other companies will first be available. Mercedes-Benz, for example, is expected to unveil an electric high-end SUV at the show.