Volkswagen opened up mass-market orders for the ID.3 this week in Europe, while also opening up ID.3 1st (limited edition) ordering in the UK — mass-market ID.3 ordering starts in the autumn in the UK.
The ID.3 is expected to dart to top of European EV sales charts later this year, assuming production gets rolling at a good flow. The ID.3, built electric from the ground up and the model launching Volkswagen’s fully electric ID lineup, is an appealing mixture of spunk, performance, practicality, and style in an affordable price range. It’s a compact hatchback made for European streets, parking spaces, and households. It would be a shocker if it wasn’t a hit.
The Volkswagen e-Golf is currently the 3rd best selling electric vehicle in Europe, and it is a very early electric model in the same class as the ID3. that was not designed electric from the ground up, doesn’t have the latest and greatest tech, and is now being replaced by the ID.3. So, we expect the fresh new ID.3 to easily get to that position or better in the European-wide ranking.
As we recently reported, the new ID.3 has 7 to 10 trims/versions available to order depending on your preferences and needs. There are several different packages. Comparing estimated cost of ownership over 5 years and a handful of scenarios, the ID.3 seems to stack up very well against its old-timer sibling, the well known Golf, and the car had similar results with the Skoda Octavia and Renault Megane.
Alongside the launch of ID.3 ordering, Volkswagen had a couple of announcements of EV charging for a boost.
Volkswagen, Tesco, and Pod Point have been working together to get EV charging stations at popular retail hotspots, and they just hit the milestone of adding chargers at the 200th store. “The UK’s largest free retail charging network for electric vehicles has so far given away enough renewable energy to power the homes of almost 130,000 people.”
EV drivers have used these charging stations more than 150,000 times. “This is enough to power 1.3 million homes for one hour, or 55,750 homes for 24 hours – which should cover the electricity needs for residential properties in a town or city with a population of almost 130,000.”
They aren’t even halfway done, though. The plan is to put 2,400 charging bays at 600 Tesco stores. (For those in the USA who are not familiar with Tesco, it is sort of like the Walmart of the UK.)
On the other side of the Atlantic, the ID.3 won’t actually be sold. It is considered too small for the US market. Instead, the ID.4, which will be produced in Tennessee for the US market, will be the ID model that launches Volkswagen’s electric revolution in the New World.
To support electric vehicles over here, though, Volkswagen Group just put in place a 50-space charging station in Arizona. Arizona? Yes, that is where Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) is based and the charging stations were implemented in collaboration with Electrify America. The giant EV charging station will include 25 of the 50 kW, 150 kW, and 350 kW fast chargers as well as 10 slow chargers. (How that adds up to 50 spots for vehicles is a little unclear.)
“This next-generation charging station at its Arizona Proving Grounds will be used to help VWGoA evaluate battery and charging performance under extreme hot-weather conditions. Engineers will also receive real time data to see how various chargers compare.”
Whose stations are they using? Everyones. “All charging equipment comes from different brands from around the world to maximize testing variability.” In particular, Volkswagen Group of America is eager to test out these EV charging stations in the sometimes extreme heat of Maricopa, Arizona (aka the desert).
“Sixteen parking spots are located under a remote-controlled canopy, which uses awnings to simulate full sun and shaded conditions. The charging station also features state-of-the-art safety controls including a battery temperature monitoring system, developed in-house, that is the basis of the world’s first battery cooling system designed to prevent overheating damage in a serious emergency. A small building in the center of the charging station will allow engineers and test drivers to safely evaluate all testing data without enduring the extreme heat of the Arizona desert.”
How hard it will be for Volkswagen Group to surf the tiny wave of the EV revolution is up for discussion, but I think one thing is indeed clear at this point: Volkswagen Group is trying to compete in the new-auto era.
Volkswagen CEO says @Elonmusk proved something many didn’t think was possible: selling EVs can be profitable.
Predicts @Tesla will get through coronavirus w/o negative quarter and in 5-10 years, the most valuable carmaker will be a mobility co – probably Tesla, Apple or VW pic.twitter.com/CRQDwBxUwD
— Patrick McGee (@PatrickMcGee_) July 23, 2020
All photos courtesy Volkswagen Group.
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