If you have an order placed on Volkswagen’s all-new electric car – or intend to put a deposit down soon – you might be waiting a while for it to arrive.
According to one of the German brand’s biggest UK dealer networks, the first allocation of 1,500 ID.3 battery-electric models were sold out in just 48 hours when deposits could be placed back in May 2019, some four months before images of the production-ready car were revealed.
And it claims another 20,000 people have shown an intent to buy one of the plug-in cars since, suggesting delivery times for some customers could be backed up.
On their way: The first 1,500 VW ID.3 1st edition models will be available for customers to spec in the UK at the end of next month. They were sold out in May 2019 within 48 hours
Alan Day Group, which was given just 35 of the UK ‘1st edition’ ID.3 deliveries, said its allocation was bought up within an hour of being made available online in May last year.
Buyers have to pre-book one of these early models – of which 30,000 are available across Europe – with a deposit of £750 to secure their build slot.
These cars will be available for the first set of customers to spec at the end of March – around the 28 or 29, This is Money has been told – as Volkswagen’s ramps-up efforts to sell plug-in models to repair the damage to its reputation as a result of the diesel emissions cheating scandal.
These vehicles are then due to be the first cars to arrive in the summer.
How ID.3 pre-booking process worked
Volkswagen is offering the ID.3 1st special edition in four colors and three versions.
Customers were able to to place a ‘binding order’ for one of the three exclusive ID.3 1st models with the Volkswagen dealer they prefer.
In Germany, the binding order will become effective in April 2020. Up to that point, customers will be able to cancel their registration at any time without any charge, in which case the registration deposit will be immediately refunded.
Pre-booking is being offered in 29 European markets.
The most important markets in Europe for the ID.3 will be Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, France, the UK and Austria.
On average, Volkswagen plans to deliver more than 100,000 vehicles per year to customers across Europe.
The German company’s Golf-sized hatchback debuts the new ‘ID’ range, which will be made up of 20 electric vehicles released over the course of the next decade as part of a €9billion investment by the manufacturer.
Prices for the ID.3 start from under £30,000 and the 1st edition versions – one of three that will eventually be available – can cover up to 261 miles on a full battery.
That means it will has a claimed range that’s seven miles longer than Tesla’s least expensive Model 3 – yet will cost around £10,000 less than its American rival.
According to Alan Day Group – though disputed by VW UK – some 20,000 drivers have already reportedly shown intent to buy an ID.3.
That’s more than the total number of Lexus models registered in the UK in 2019.
A VW UK spokesman told This is Money: ‘We have not announced final pricing, or indeed opened the order books for any variant of ID.3 yet.’
Alan Day Group, which was given just 35 of the first UK ID.3 deliveries, said its allocation was bought up within an hour of being made available online in May 2019
Prices for the ID.3 start from under £30,000 and the debut version – one of three that will eventually be available – can cover up to 261 miles on a full battery charge
Tesla Model 3 sales in Europe prove electric-car demand
If there was ever evidence that the appetite for electric cars is booming, the sales performance of the Tesla Model 3 is a prime example.
Some 95,013 were registered in total in Europe in 2019.
That made it the most popular ‘D-sedan’ premium model – essentially the best-selling medium-sized family saloon car.
That means it was more popular than some iconic models.
It outsold the stalwart BMW 3 Series into second place by almost 30,000 units (67,844 3 Series registered).
the Model 3 was also more popular than other premium German cars like the Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4.
To further put this achievement into perspective, look at the comparison to Jaguar XE registrations.
For every Jaguar XE saloon sold, 12 Model 3s were registered in Europe, JATO Dynamics’ figures show.
Nick Wells, who is head of business at the Alan Day Group, believes the new range of electric vehicles will tempt even the most staunch petrolheads to switch to plug-in cars.
‘To sell 1,500 from a range that hasn’t even hit the market yet is unprecedented and suggests we are on the cusp of an electric vehicle revolution,’ he said.
‘VW electric vehicles have come a long way in an incredibly short space of time and depending on what battery pack you have users will have a usable range of 280 miles which is more than most customers would drive on any one day.
‘Now people can jump in the car and go without having that range anxiety.
‘Nowadays people – particularly the under 30’s market – want to do their bit for the environment and we often hear people saying buying an electric vehicle is the first step in becoming more environmentally aware.’
Industry experts claim charging a car will soon be a normal part of life’s routine, no different from charging a mobile phone, as the sector gears up to be more eco-friendly in line with government targets.
The drive towards the electrification of the industry has become more intense since the government brought forward a sales ban of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by five years to 2035 rather than 2040, as initially planned.
Transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said this week that this deadline could be cut by another three years to 2032.
The ID.3 is the first model in VW’s ‘ID’ range, that will comprise a mixture of different plug-in vehicles, from SUVs to city cars
Customers who pre-booked their ID.3 models in May did so four months ahead of official images and details of the production-ready car being released
If VW can meet the reported supply, the ID.3 will outsell the annual registrations of Lexus as a brand in the UK
Could Volkswagen be hit with the same battery supply issues as rivals?
Other automakers, including Jaguar, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, have revealed they are suffering bottlenecks in battery supply in recent weeks.
Jaguar has confirmed it will reduced outputs of the I-Pace SUV at its Graz factory in Austria due to the shortage of batteries.
Could VW be hit with the battery supply issues as other car makers? It is using the same cell provider – Korean firm LG Chem
Among VW’s battery suppliers for European models is LG Chem – along with Samsung and SK Innovation – which is the firm at the heart of the supply shortages for rival manufacturers.
The South Korean provider’s battery cells are are made at a factory in Wroclaw, Poland, which have been subject to ‘temporary supply scheduling issues’, according to a statement by Jaguar earlier this week.
VW has reportedly already made changes to its battery-purchasing plan over concerns over supply from Samsung, Bloomberg reported last May.
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