ID.3 has to become VW’s Golf or Beetle of the future
Will the new full-electric Volkswagen ID.3 again conquer the masses and become the successor of the Golf and (earlier) the Beetle? Given the amount of money VW has already invested, the whole ID. range has no right to fail.
This week the production of the first ID. model, the Golf-sized ID.3, has started in German Zwickau (60 km south of Leipzig). That Chancellor Merkel had come to overlook the start shows the importance she also attaches to this launch.
Since the fall of the Berlin wall, VW produced over 5,5 million VW models here, mostly Golfs, and will continue to do so until mid-2020. Then the ID.3 production should be in full flow, churning out 1.350 to 1.500 electric VWs every day.
At the Frankfurter Motor Show, IAA VW Group CEO, Herbert Diess, has called the ID.3 the new Golf. But just now, a few weeks ago, the eighth generation of VW’s bestseller has been presented and will be launched on the market soon.
For 40 years, the Golf has always occupied the first rank in the bestseller charts in Europe. For its survival, VW has still to count on its success, ID.3 still being a vague promise for the future. It’s also strange when you know there has already been a full-electric Golf for years, the e-Golf. So why change a winning team?
“You can’t say to your clients what they have to do,” says Silke Bagschik. “You have to propose both an electrified version of the Golf (being a hybrid) and a full-electric car, the ID.3.”
VW is investing heavily in its new baby, that’s why it will be immediately available with different battery packs (and different ranges, from 330 to 550 km) and, more important, with a starting price of 30.000 euros.
Volkswagen wants to go far in creating the real zero-emission car. It means that (in time) the factory also has to produce CO2-neutral and that all the suppliers have to engage themselves to do the same.
That’s not so easy, so VW puts them under pressure. “We use blockchain technology to get the supplying path transparent,” says Gunther Scherelis, spokesman for durability at VW. “This will remain one of our biggest challenges.”
Volkswagen is also reminding the authorities that they have responsibilities as well. If the electricity is 100% renewable or green, an electric Golf emits 59 g/km of CO2 during a lifecycle of 200.000 km, all included. For a Golf Diesel, this is 140 g/km. But with the actual European energy mix, an e-Golf is at 119 g/km CO2.
Concerning the new ID.3, Volkswagen promises its clientele a delivery with 0 emissions whatsoever. Even the logistics will be compensated in CO2. Those emissions can stay at level zero when the client can recharge with green energy.
Volkswagen invested 1,2 billion euros in its Zwickau factory and is investing a massive 30 billion in e-mobility. To lighten this financial burden, it is offering its platform and technology to everyone. Ford, for example, has already stepped in.
Volkswagen has decided to become completely carbon-neutral as a company in 2050. “The 100 million cars of the VW group driving around on this globe represent 1% of global CO2 emissions,” says Herbert Diess.
“Without the electric car, we can’t meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. An industrial nation like Germany can’t afford to stagnate. We have to reinvent ourselves continuously to remain performant and relevant.” Chancellor Merkel has got the message.