The first electric VW ID.3 compact cars rolled out of the Volkswagen factory in Zwickau in early November 2019. Cars will be available in European markets in June, July, August 2020 time frame. The estimated retail price for the basic model of the VW ID.3 is under 30,000 euros in Germany.
The Zwickau factory used to manufacture combustion engine vehicles, but the plant is going through a thorough renovation as it is transformed into a high-tech electric vehicle plant. 1.2 billion euros has been invested in the transformation.
The result is that in 2020, the plant is capable of producing 100,000 electric cars, and from there on, up to 330,000 vehicles each year. It is the largest electric vehicle factory in Europe, featuring, for example, 1700 robots, driverless transport systems and fully-automated manufacturing processes.
In addition to the ID.3, Zwickau will build six other electric VW models that are all based on the Volkswagen’s new MEB (Modular Electric Drive Toolkit) platform.
VW has said three models will be available: the basic ID 3 1st, 1st Plus and 1st Max. All models come with a 58 kWh lithium-ion battery that should allow a range of 420 kilometers / 262 miles (WLTP measurement).
The basic version of the ID.3 is expected to retail for under 30,000 euros in Germany. It is planned to be launched simultaneously in European countries in summer 2020. Over 35,000 international customers have reserved an ID.3 and paid a deposit to be among the first who get the electric VW.
VW has a remarkable history of creating quality cars for the mass markets: the Beetle, Golf and the Transporter van are probably the most famous vehicles. The ID.3 has a huge challenge to become an iconic product like the Beetle or Golf, but anything is possible.
Meanwhile, in German politics, reducing pollution caused by traffic is always high on the agenda. Reuters reports that they have seen a document where the German government is planning to increase electric vehicle grants 50% from 2020 until 2025. As it happens, the availability of VW e-cars for the mass market starts in 2020.