The 2019 Frankfort Auto Show has been a showcase of cutting-edge electric vehicles, and Volkswagen eagerly jumped into the spotlight with its own new offering: the Volkswagen ID.3. The final, road-ready version of the VW ID.3 has shed its camouflage paint job to take a bow to the world, and it will be coming in three different versions for differing customer needs.
VW ID.3 Debut
The ID.3 is meant to be Volkswagen’s first affordable long-range electric car, and from the sound of things, is slated to be delivered in the middle of 2020. It is also the first vehicle built on Volkswagen’s modular all-electric platform. That platform is expected to power dozens more cars and SUVs across the Volkswagen family of brands, all as a part of their huge investment into the electric vehicle market.
The ID.3 is visually reminiscent of Volkswagen’s popular Golf hatchback, and will come in three versions: the basic ID.3 1st, 1st Plus, and 1st Max. But if you are in the U.S. and are thinking about wanting to get your hands on this one, you will have to think again– so far, the legacy automaker only has plans to release it in Europe.
The base model of the VW ID.3 is expected to start at under €30,000 (about $33,180). While Volkswagen has not yet revealed a price point for the other two versions with additional features, that first number is a pretty good starting point. One of the biggest arguments against electric cars has traditionally been the price, and the base ID.3 will come in under the U.S. average. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average transaction price of a light vehicle in April of 2019 was $36,843 in the U.S. Better affordability means more buyers, which is ultimately more profit for the company and more electric cars on the road.
So what do we have to look forward to?
First, there is the range. The base model of the VW ID.3 will come with a 45 kWh battery and a range of 205 miles (330 km). For the average person driving to and from work on a daily basis, that is not too bad. The mid-range ID.3 1st Plus comes with a 58 kWh battery for 261 miles (420 km) of range, and the top-of-the-line model ID.3 1st Max has a 77 kWh battery with 340 miles (550 km) of range.
Then there is the charging time. The basic ID.3 1st will only charge at 50 kW, meaning that it will likely take over an hour to bring it to full charge on a 50 kW rapid charger. If you want to charge your ID.3 faster, then you would have to upgrade to a higher-tier version of the car. The midrange ID.3 1st Plus comes with 100 kW charging as standard, and the high-end ID.3 1st Max will be able to refuel at a charge point up to 125 kW. No matter what choice you make, there will be an eight year / 160,000 kilometer warranty on the ID.3’s battery pack.
Storage space is also a consideration. VW says that the ID.3 will be far roomier than a Gulf, thanks in part to the removal of the internal combustion engine. With the electric motor mounted on the rear axle and the batteries set into the floor, Volkswagen has been able to extend the cabin forward and free up space. This means more space to store your stuff and a more comfortable ride since you are no longer competing with mechanical innards for a place to sit.
Do you like technology? That is good because the ID.3 will have it. There will be a 10-inch touchscreen mounted in the center of the dashboard, and nearly all controls will be digital. The only things controlled through physical buttons will be the windows and hazard lights. The car comes with voice-activated controls, a wireless charging mat, and LED matrix headlights. Buyers will also have the option to add an “augmented reality” display which will project information onto the windshield, a Beats-branded stereo package, and keyless entry to their ID.3.
While Volkswagen has future autonomy in mind, they are in no way ready to release such elements. The ID.3 will hit the market with only a basic set of driver assistance features– automatic emergency braking and lane assistance.