Volkswagen ID Electric Sedan — 3 Battery Sizes, Starting At Less Than $30,000

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A headline in Auto Express today reads, “VW ID Electric Car 2019 To Have Over 300 Miles Range And Be A Tesla Model 3 Rival.” No car company yet — legacy or startup — has produced an electric car that truly rivals an equivalent Tesla, so let’s move past that and look at what VW’s latest announcement about its upcoming ID sedan really means for the electric car revolution.

First of all, the ID sedan has no official name yet, although it is referred to internally as the ID Neo. What moniker it has when it finally becomes available sometime next year we will find out later.

The news that is news, though, is that whatever it is called, it will offer customers a choice of three battery sizes. According to the company, the entry level car will have a range of more than 300 miles based on the WLTP standard and cost around €25,000. Translating those numbers to the American market suggests an EPA range of about 220 miles and a sticker price of $29,400.

Christian Senger, head of e-mobility for Volkswagen, tells Auto Express, “We will have three different ranges of I.D. hatchback, to allow for people with different budgets. The entry-level car will have a WLTP range of 330km (205 miles), and it will also have more limited performance. If people want a faster car then I don’t want them coming back after three months telling me that it’s fast but that the range is too short. So if you want a fast car, you’ll need a bigger battery — simple.”

Some people have grown tired of hearing Volkswagen promise the sun, the moon, and the stars when it comes to its new electric car division. Just get it into production, they say, then we’ll see what’s what. Such skepticism is understandable. To this point, Volkswagen has been very good at promising to build millions of electric cars in the future. But what about now?

That is a valid criticism, although the company does seem to be doing more than its German rivals when it comes to getting affordable EVs into the hands of actual customers. For their part, Mercedes, BMW, and Audi are all targeting customers who can afford cars that cost $70,000 and up.

An electric car with more than 200 miles of range for under $30,000 should have EV fans cheering. Certainly, the concept car previewed in the company’s teaser video from last year looks pretty interesting. Will it be as good as a Tesla Model 3? Perhaps, perhaps not. But it will be a welcome addition to the marketplace and proof that the electric car revolution really is moving forward.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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