Tuesday 21 May 2019

Booked out in 24 hours: 10,000 eager customers pre-order Volkswagen's new all-electric model


Cathal Doyle

A LIMITED edition of Volkswagen's new ID.3 electric car drew more than 10,000 pre-booking deposits of €1,000 within 24 hours of orders being taken.

The car will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September; first deliveries of the special launch edition are due next summer.

A Golf-sized hatchback, the ID.3 is the first in a range of electric vehicles from Volkswagen. Further likely models based on concept versions include a people carrier, larger family car and van.

Volkswagen is investing €9bn in e-mobility over the next four years. It plans to produce more than 10m electric cars over 10 years.

All 34 Irish dealers will be EV-enabled by the time the ID.3 arrives.

The '3' in the ID.3 suggests there may be future smaller models, but there are also hopes it heralds the third major chapter in the company's history - following the Beetle and the Golf.

Volkswagen is being coy enough on details ahead of the official launch. But the ID.3 will be able to accommodate three battery sizes (45, 58 and 77kWh), with ranges between 330km and 550km. It will also accept up to 125kW DC fast charging - 30 minutes at a 100kW point will provide energy for at least 260km, the company claims.

It has the external dimensions of a Golf but the internal space of a medium-sized car, thanks to the absence of conventional internal combustion engine gear.

Realistically, it will be 2021 before deliveries of ID.3 start in any volume.

So if you want to get an early one, the brand here has begun the pre-booking phase (dedicated ID.3 1st link on the Volkswagen Ireland website).

Irish prices have yet to be announced. In Germany the target price of the limited edition will be under €40,000. With VRT, we can expect Irish cars to cost a few grand more. But that's excluding the €10,000-worth of grants for electric cars.

The regular model, when it goes on sale, should have a lower starting price. Volkswagen here says it will likely undercut current e-Golf prices.

Just 30,000 of the ID.3 1st edition will be produced in total. It will have the mid-sized 58kWh battery (up to 420km).

There will be three versions for now: the ID.3 1st, the ID.3 1st Plus and the ID.3 1st Max.

A deposit of €1,000 secures a non-binding option on an ID.3 1st, with the deposit returned if you decide to cancel. After the Frankfurt show, pre-bookers will be able to place a binding order.

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