Volkswagen isn’t new to electric vehicles, but at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany on Monday, the German carmaker unveiled the first in its series of battery-powered cars based on VW’s new MEB — which means ”modular electric drive matrix” — platform.
The ID.3, part of a new look for the company, was finally revealed to be a hatchback plug-in car similar in size to the VW Golf and the first of several different types of electric vehicles (think a minivan, sedan, bus, and even a dune buggy) with the same electric base that can be built on the electric framework.
The ID.3 is set to be more than a concept car and will start production for a mid-2020 delivery in Germany with battery range up to 340 miles and eventually a smaller battery version with only 205 miles. Fast charging means it can charge up 180 miles in 30 minutes.
The base price will be under $30,000 Euros in Germany. That’s equivalent to just over $33,000 USD, which is very close to Tesla’s coveted $35,000 base price for its newest electric vehicle. VW sees this as a price “for the masses.” Compare that to Porsche’s first electric car revealed last week: the Taycan Turbo starts at $150,000.
The ID.3 car will only be available in Europe. Volkswagen has plans to build more than 10 million electric vehicles in the next 10 years with 20 different e-models.
As part of the new line of cars, a new Volkswagen logo was also revealed — basically a flatter version of its previous “VW” design.
With the ID line kicked off, VW is switching to what it considers a more sustainable production process using naturally produced energy at its battery, body, assembly, and paint facilities.
For the first generation of buyers, Volkswagen is offering free charging for a year at WeCharge network stations throughout Europe. There are more than 100,000 charging points available, at no cost at first. This is an attempt to compete with Tesla’s Supercharger network, which also in early days offered free charging programs.
A fun new feature on the “smart” electric car: When the driver approaches the ID.3, the eye-like headlights will look at them and flutter as a way to say hello. How welcoming.
Volkswagen is looking straight into electrification.