Monday, September 9, 2019

VOLKSWAGEN Challenging TESLA Affordability with Under-€30,000 ID.3 E-CAR, Releasing 2020

In this decade, when it comes to electric-powered cars presenting themselves as the most affordable of their type (considering how they tend to be expensive to begin with), Tesla has been one of the most vocal with this pertaining to their Model 3 sedan. But they are hardly the only e-vehicle manufacturer that is looking to make lower-cost cars for the general public. Established automakers such as Volkswagen are in the race too, and their own efforts at developing an affordable car with an electric motor may have come into fruition. While it will not be available until next year, they can unveil it now.

The Verge reports that Volkswagen has made its first presentation of the ID.3, their affordable-range electric-powered car. It was first debuted at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show recently, though it is not until 2020 that it will roll out for interested buyers. The Volkswagen ID.3 offers reasonably long ranges on a single full charge, to be classified into three possible variants with ranges from 205 to 340 miles. What is interesting is its prospective price tag, which Volkswagen indicates to be “less than 30,000.” That specific value in US dollars is equivalent to $33,180, below the initial $35,000 asking price for Tesla’s “Standard Range” version of the Model 3 sedan.

At first glance, the Volkswagen ID.3 comes across as an electric-motor variant of their gasoline-powered Golf hatchback, which might be the point considering its development story. This is the first Volkswagen e-vehicle using their new modular all-electric platform, which is the German automaker’s trump card in firmly establishing itself as a major e-car manufacturer. The modular electric platform is also being pushed in Volkswagen’s partnership with eClassics that will allow conversion of older Volkswagen Beetles and Microbuses from gas-powered engines to electric, for a fee.

Volkswagen elaborates that their basic model ID.3, which has the 205-mile/330-kilometer range on a 45kWh battery, is the one variant guaranteed to be priced below 30,000. They offered no pricing estimates for the other two higher-end variants, with respective specs of 58kWh battery for 261mi/420km, and 77kWh for 340mi/550km. The basic-range ID.3 can only charge at a rate of 50kW, with a beefed-up price to up the rate to 100kW, which in turn is the standard rate for the second-tier 58kWh variant. The ID.3’s battery pack will also be covered by warranty from Volkswagen for eight years or 160,000 kilometers.

Unfortunately for the US, Volkwagen is focusing its ID.3 marketing in Europe, with no plans for a Stateside or China release next year. Looks like Tesla will maintain its Model 3 prominence for a time.

Image courtesy of Volkswagen Newsroom


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