Development will be on an extremely tight schedule once the final design is approved in August.

Volkswagen has promised to launch the first model in its ID lineup by 2020, allowing the company to hit its average fuel-efficiency targets in both Europe and China."It's a very tight time plan for 2020, but we need the cars then to comply with our fleet targets," VW brand chief Herbert Diess said, as quoted by Automotive News. "So, it's a necessity to achieve the launch dates, but it's well on the way."

A Golf-like hatchback based on the ID Concept (pictured) will be the first model in the series. It will be built upon VW Group's new MEB platform, created specifically for electrified vehicles.

The second MEB-based model will be a crossover, due to make its conceptual debut in Shanghai next month. It is not likely to appear in showrooms until 2021 or later, while the ID Buzz van concept will be transformed into a production model the following year.

"We have to sell there close to 1 million electric vehicles by the year 2025 -- just Volkswagen -- and from this volume base we can really do something in the rest of the world," Diess said.

China is expected to account for the majority of VW's EV sales in the near term.