You hear the weeping and wailing all the time for auto executives: “Oh, woe. Nobody wants to buy our electric cars!” Then Tesla comes along and gets over 300,000 reservations for its Model 3 and the powers that be sniff and say, “Oh, that’s just a fluke. People really aren’t interested in electric cars.”
But a funny thing happened this week after Volkswagen announced that it will build just 30,000 units of its special edition ID.3 electric hatchback. Within 24 hours, more than 10,000 people ponied up €1,000 to reserve one for themselves. It is scheduled to go into production before the end of this year.
The special edition model will include free electric charging for the first year, up to a maximum of 2,000 kWh. Using Volkswagen’s WeCharge app, drivers will be able to use any chargers in the Ionity superfast charging network, which spans the European continent.
The ID.3 will come with 3 battery choices for ranges between 330 and 550 kilometers as measured by the WLTP standard. The special edition cars will come with the middle size battery and have 420 kilometers of range. The price for the cars is reported to be less than €40,000 before incentives. Volkswagen plans to sell 100,000 of its ID.3 electric cars a year — or more — once production gets rolling. The base model reportedly will list for under €30,000.
The flood of reservations surprised the company and crashed the reservation website for a time. “This leads to long waiting times and interruptions in the registration process in some markets. Volkswagen is working hard to eliminate the hitches,” the company said in a statement. “Nevertheless, more than 10,000 registrations were received throughout Europe during the first 24 hours.”
The ID.3 is not intended to come to America, but the company says that could change “if Americans want them.” The first electric car from VW in the US will be the ID.Crozz SUV, which the company intends to build in its factory in Tennessee.
Now the question on everybody’s lips is, what will ID.3 demand be like after the initial flurry of interest from early adopters? “We’ll see,” said the Zen master.
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