Volkswagen unveils hotly anticipated ID.3 electric car

VW id3
Volkswagen
The new VW ID.3.

Volkswagen has launched its "third era" of car production, unveiling its ID.3 production-ready electric car alongside claims the auto giant is set to provide "electric mobility for all."

The ID.3 is the first model of a new generation of electric vehicles (EVs) from the carmaker, as it seeks to deliver on its multi-billion dollar EV investment strategy and revamp its image following the "dieselgate scandal."

First revealed as a concept car at the Paris Motorshow in 2016, the ID.3 is built on VW's new modular EV system which will be used in all its EVs from now on. It is being marketed as the "people's EV," as part of a vision to replicate the success of the VW Golf as a practical family car.

The $33,000 car, made in factories powered by renewable energy, will be available with three battery sizes: one with 45 kWh capacity delivering up to 330 kilometers of range, a 58kWh battery delivering up to 420km, and a 77kWh battery capable of delivering up to 550km.

VW also announced the launch of a new range of charger wall boxes. With a charging capacity of 11kW, it says the ID Chargers will be able to charge an EV five times faster than a standard domestic power socket.

VW plans to launch 70 new electric models in the next 10 years as it makes a bid to lead the transition to electric power.

Electric vehicles still only make up a tiny fraction of the overall new car market, but their share is growing fast. Data released last week by the United Kingdom's Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders found sales of battery electric vehicles increased by a staggering 377 percent in the United Kingdom in August, jumping to a 3.4 percent market share.

Analysis of the data by Cornwall Insight found that based on the latest sales figures, the United Kingdom is set to outstrip its Consumer Evolution scenario for how the country's energy market would develop through to 2050.

Under the Consumer Evolution projection — one of five published by National Grid earlier this year — electric vehicles were pegged to become the most popular form of transport by the early 2040s, but Cornwall Insight said the market seems to be evolving quicker than anticipated.

"It is still early days for the electric vehicle (EV) sector against the overall vehicle market, but the increasing EV demand represents significant support to the U.K.'s decarbonization ambitions," said Jacob Briggs, senior consulting analyst at Cornwall Insight. "This also provides a positive signal for other parts of the industry, from charge point operators and energy suppliers through to investors and asset providers."

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