Volkswagen remains bully on the timeline and prospects for the first units of its new ID.3 battery-electric hatchback. The automaker plans to deliver the 30,000 pre-reserved First Edition models around the same time, starting in a few months. In spite of tales of software issues and fretting inside the company, Thomas Ulbrich, VW Group board member for e-mobility, said, "The time schedule will be met. The ID.3 will be introduced to the market in the summer, as announced." Assuming that occurs, the good vibes should continue when the regular ID.3 goes on sale following the First Edition deliveries. The carmaker says the base ID.3 will cost €23,430 ($26,020 U.S.) in Germany after the €6,000 ($6,663 U.S.) environmental bonus the government offers for electric vehicles. That buys the 148-horsepower EV with the smallest 45-kWh battery and a range of up to 205 miles on the WLTP cycle.
The ID.3's price would be €2,470 ($2,743 U.S.) less than the e-Golf based on the Mk7 Golf platform, and €3,360 ($3,731 U.S.) less than the new ICE-powered Mk8 Golf. On top of that, Volkswagen believes owners will save roughly €840 ($933 U.S.) per year thanks to lower refueling and insurance costs, and not having to pay for oil changes or the road vehicle tax. The savings come with packaging benefits, too. The MEB-based electric car is almost an inch longer than the new Golf and 0.8 inch wider, on a wheelbase that's 5.7 inches longer. The wheelbase translates into rear passenger legroom equivalent to a Passat, although that takes a chunk out of cargo room with the rear seats up — the ID.3 can swallow 13.6 cubic feet, the outgoing Mk7 Golf holds 17.4 cu. ft.
The model rollout will continue with higher-powered models that up the price some. The mid-range entry matches the First Edition specs, those being a 58-kWh battery powering a 201-hp motor to a WLTP range of up to 261 miles. The top trim gets the same output but a 77-kWh battery and a WLTP range of up to 342 miles. These two variants come standard with 100-kW fast-charging capability that's optional on the base model, which makes do with 50-kW charging.
With huge plans for the MEB platform and the numerous EVs it will support among Group brands, VW continues to build out its internal and external EV infrastructure. The Zwickau plant has been converted from ICE vehicle production to all EV production, with plant power coming from renewable energy. For home charging, VW subsidiary Elli offers Naturstrom power provided by entirely renewable sources, and on the road, the growing Ionity network pledges its power is also 100% green. If any carbon balance remains after all that, VW says it invests in climate protection projects to a level that restores carbon neutrality to overall EV operations.