By Piero Facchin


Volkswagen’s new Scout Motors EV division confirmed last Friday that its first model will be a $40,000 (U.S.) electric SUV to be built at a new $2 billion plant near Columbia, South Carolina.

Scout, which plans to build rugged electric vehicles based on the classic International Harvester Scout SUV produced from 1960 to 1980, said in a press release that the plant will produce 200,000 vehicles a year at maximum capacity and create at least 4,000 permanent jobs.

Groundbreaking for the South Carolina plant is scheduled for mid-2023, with production expected to begin by the end of 2026, the brand said. The first model produced will be a “rugged utility vehicle” or “RUV,” Scout CEO Scott Keogh said in an interview with TechCrunch, followed “in quick succession” by a larger electric pickup truck.

Keogh said the utility vehicle is targeting a base price of about $40,000, while the pickup will be “a little above that.”

Both models are expected to be unveiled in 2024 and represent a slight delay from initial information. Volkswagen announced its new Scout in May 2022. At the time, it said the first prototypes would be shown in 2023. VW dealers were completely surprised by the announcement, which effectively bypasses them for a Tesla-like sales model. However, the 2026 production schedule has remained consistent throughout.

The simple, boxy styling is also consistent. A teaser released by Scout alongside the factory announcement shows shapes broadly similar to the sketches released by VW in 2022. This design language will help connect modern Scout electric vehicles to their 1960s inspiration

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