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Volkswagen ID.3: new EV gets 160,000km, 8 year battery warranty

Published: 17 June 2019

► Volkswagen's ID.3 prices from £26k
► 3 name leaves space above and below
► Size of a Golf, interior space of Passat  

Volkswagen is calling the ID.3 EV its most important car since the Beetle and Golf, and it’s just revealed how it’ll help ease customers into its third, electric chapter. Wolfsburg has announced the new ID3’s battery will feature an eight year or 160,000km warranty – and it’s something we’ll see on the rest of the forthcoming EV range, too.

The warranty will guarantee that the ID.3’s battey unit will retain at least 70% of its charge, over the above time limit and mileage. It’s another example of the old guard playing to its strengths, and offering piece of mind it feels it competitors may not be able to.

Shrinking range 

Interestingly though, the idea of a car having a smaller range after a year of use will still probably sit uneasily with prospective customers. We notice – and largely put up with – battery degradation in smartphones and laptops, but will EV owners find the same thing acceptable when it affects their cars?

For example, after eight years, it’s possible an ID.3 could have 25% less range than before - and that figure wouldn’t hit the warranty threshold. That's a drop from 205miles in the smallest 48kWh battery ID.3 to around 150 miles. Would you find that acceptable? Let us know in the comments.

Still, it looks like the first VW Group EVs may well need strong warranties – check our e-Tron story for more info

Volkswagen ID.3: everything you need to know 

This is the new VW ID.3 electric car, the first of a new generation of bespoke Volkswagen EVs scheduled for series production, and therefore the first of the brand’s new ID series. What does ID stand for? Ignore dieselgate? Not quite; instead we're told it stands for 'intelligent design, identity and visionary technologies.'

It doesn’t really matter either way, but what is important is just how big VW thinks the ID brand will be; it’s calling the ID.3 the third major chapter after the Beetle and the Golf. That's a big claim.

Read on for everything we know about the new Volkswagen ID.3 electric car, from its likely battery capacities and range to UK prices. The order books have opened today and VW is already taking refundable £750 deposits for its landmark battery car, which will start from 'under €30,000 in Germany' - or £26,000 in sterling.

So what's the ID.3 then?

VW hasn’t revealed too much about the new car, but the hatch displayed at the ID brand’s launch in concept guise was the size of a Golf mixed with the interior space of a Passat – a crucial advantage of electric propulsion. We’re looking at a close-to-production spec of that car now, and we're expecting it in showrooms in 2020 after a full reveal in autumn 2019 at the Frankfurt motor show.

Volkwagen ID.3

Volkswagen is promising a choice of electric battery ranges in its ID.3, judged on the latest WLTP driving cycle:

  • 48kWh battery 205-mile range
  • 55kWh battery 261-mile range
  • 62kWh battery 342-mile range

Prices for the electric VW ID.3 EV

Jürgen Stackmann, VW board member for sales, marketing and aftersales, said: 'For the ID.3, the starting price of the standard model in Germany will be under €30,000 [£25,800], as promised. The special edition will cost less than €40,000 [£34,400] in Germany. At these prices, the car is also economically viable. The purchasing costs are slightly higher than those of a combustion vehicle, but the e-vehicle is considerably more economical in terms of maintenance, for example about 30 percent in terms of maintenance. This means electric mobility is becoming available to the masses.'

He went on to explain the 3 name. 'We are starting from the centre, the Volkswagen brand’s core, in which the majority of the models and sales volume can be found,’ added Stackmann. 'The number 3 also signals expandability into the segments above and below it. We have a lot in the pipeline. The brand is willing to become the number one brand globally by 2025, with more than 20 purely electrically driven models and more than a million vehicles sold annually, all of which being both networked and emission-free.’

VW ID.3 in detail

Although the car shown today is wearing a stripy livery amounting to a disguise, it's our best look yet at the first of a new family of electric VWs. Note the long wheelbase and really short overhangs - designed to give the hatchback maximum interior space for minimum exterior footprint (one of the useful packaging benefits of an EV architecture). Those wheels are huge 20-inch items, designed to balance the height of the car - this is considerably taller than a Golf.

VW ID.3 electric car: first pictures, specs and prices by CAR magazine UK

This is a five-door hatchback with a markedly different vibe from the evergreen Golf, once all that silly disguise and masking is removed. Note, for instance, the full-width light bar at the front end - it looks like the VW badge itself could even be illuminated for markets where this isn't illegal (like China).

Anyone pre-ordering a Volkswagen ID.3 will bag a launch edition model with special features, as well as the promise of 'free charging of up to 2000kWh electricity for the first year.'

The launch model is badge VW ID.3 1st and comes in regular, Plus or Max trims - progressively adding cleverer lights, bi-colour design and clever features such as an augmented reality head-up display and large panoramic sunroof. Talk of AR is pertinent - digital innovation is rife inside, and the interior is a step change from current Volkswagen cabins, according to those who've seen inside the electric car.

Electric Volkswagens: what’s next?

You can read more about VW’s ongoing plans for EV domination, here.

We'll update this story when we know more. 

Further electric car reading

The best electric cars and EVs on sale today

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Future electric cars: upcoming EVs to look out for

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast