09 May, 2019

Volkswagen unveils the car that leads its electric charge

Volkswagen (VW) has revealed the name, pricing and driving range for its first mass-market electric vehicle (EV).

The company has confirmed the new model will be called the ID.3, with the launch version of the vehicle to cost €40,000. The new car will spearhead the German carmaker’s €30 billion assault on the EV market.

Other ID.3 versions will include an entry-level car priced below €30,000, about the same level as diesel variants of the Golf hatchback, and a large battery version, for which pricing was not disclosed.

Potential customers can register for an early production slot by paying a €1,000 registration deposit, fully refundable in Germany until April 2020, VW said in a statement.

EVs for everyone

‘With the start of pan-European pre-booking for the ID.3, e-mobility at Volkswagen will become concrete for our customers. From today, everyone can take part,’ said Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Board responsible for Sales, Marketing and After-Sales. ‘With the ID.3, we will be ushering in the third major chapter of strategic importance in the history of our brand, following the Beetle and the Golf. With the ID.3, we are making the electric car fit for mass mobility. Initially, we will electrify Europe with the ID.3 and then other regions with further electric models in the ID. family which are to follow in the near future.’

The ID.3 1ST special edition, which has been especially configured for pre-booking, includes high-quality, high-performance equipment and is limited to 30,000 vehicles. Volkswagen is equipping the ID.3 1ST with the medium-sized battery option that will be available across the ID.3 series and is expected to be the most popular. With the three series battery options, a driving range of between 330 and 550 kilometres (in accordance with WLTP) will be possible. The pre-booking special edition has a range of 420km.

Range expansion

The ID name gives VW the opportunity to expand its EV range into segments above and below its first model. The company has already teased a version based on its iconic minibus, while in Geneva it showed a beach buggy concept. It is likely that the brand will include a city car and larger SUV model, as the German carmaker looks to make ID a strong EV sub-brand within its portfolio.

The ID.3 becomes VW’s central focus point for the company’s CO2 emission reduction strategy, with strict rules set by the EU for 2025 and 2030. The company has suggested that it will launch its last internal combustion engine models in 2026 as it looks to become a leader in electric technology.

New platforms

The new model is also the first to be built on VW Group’s MEB platform, with sister marques Audi, Skoda and SEAT all set to use the base for their EV aspirations. MEB will also be made available to other manufacturers, with Ford keen to use the architecture for its EV plans.

The ID.3 will be key to VW brand's goal of becoming the top-selling EV maker by 2025 selling 1 million EVs a year with more than 20 battery-powered cars in its line-up. ‘Volkswagen is a big player, and when we go, a lot of people follow,’ Stackmann said.

VW will give ID.3 buyers free charging for the first year, up to a maximum of 2,000 kilowatt-hours, at public charging stations that use the brand’s We Charge app - including the fast chargers operated by Europe’s Ionity.