Volkswagen has a lot riding on the ID.3, their first electric car based on their modular MEB platform. The German automaker has been setting loft goals for itself when it comes to electric cars in the future and it cannot afford to have a misstep on its opening day. The brand is now looking to bring all 30,000 of its first run of ID.3s to market at once, and better yet, they will be cheaper to run than a gasoline car.
The ID.3 has a rather usual release schedule for an electric car. While it was initially scheduled to start being delivered towards the end of 2019 it was subsequently pushed back multiple times until the current release date of ‘Summer 2020’ has been presumably set in stone. The reason for the delays was due to Volkswagen wanting to accumulate inventory instead of just sending out the cars in batches as they were being made, production started in November after all.
So it appears that VW wants to pull a rather strange move and release all 30,000 of their initial production run, at once.
The objective is to deliver the 30,000 pre-booked ID.3 vehicles in the 1st Edition to customers throughout Europe at almost the same time.
A potentially risky move as any issue will now be found on 30,000 production cars that will have to be recalled instead of having their problems fixed in the middle of the production run. But I would hope that VW is using the extra time to make sure that no major issues will plague the ID.3 on its release. The car has already had some issues with its software not being uploaded to some of the initial cars, which VW skirts past and doesn’t acknowledge.
During production, the current software version will initially be transferred to the vehicle. Over subsequent months, the digital functions will be regularly updated.
Additionally, Volkswagen has made the claim that the ID.3 will be a cheaper to own car than its equivalent gasoline counterparts.
The cost of ownership analysis shows that, in terms of acquisition and operation expenses,: an ID.3 is less expensive, depending on the model variant, than a comparable internal combustion engine model. The basic version with a range of 330 kilometers costs less than €23,430 in Germany, following deduction of the environmental bonus. It is therefore at least as inexpensive as comparable models such as the Golf Life. In addition, ID.3 drivers in Germany save about €840 per year on operating expenses. Among other items, there is no road vehicle tax, no oil changes are required and the ID.3 is assigned to a less expensive insurance class (class 17). Energy costs are also lower.
Additionally, Silke Bagschick, Head of Sales and Marketing, e-mobility Product Line, is optimistic about future electric car prices, saying:
“The price is no longer an argument against but rather an argument for the electric car. Leasing offers make the changeover easy and reduce uncertainty. In future, the electric car will also be attractively priced even without subsidies.”
We’ll see in another few months’ time if this will be a great start to Volkswagen’s electric car endeavor, or if they have to go back to the drawing board.
We in the US will however not get to experience the ID.3 and will just have to settle and wait for the ID.4 to make its North American debut in a year or two.