New Volkswagen ID 3: first examples of EV hit British shores

Volkswagen’s pivotal EV, the ID 3, has finally reached British shores as the first customer examples roll off the ship at Grimsby port.

Earmarked for customers that pre-booked First Edition examples earlier this year, the fully-loaded models will be delivered over the next month. Volkswagen claims that the entire production and delivery process is carbon neutral, even including the shipping.

Autocar’s Volkswagen ID 3 2020 review

The limited-run First Edition models are priced from £38,880 and were offered only to people who previously placed a £750 deposit. First Edition versions of the ID 3 will feature the mid-size ‘Pro’ battery offering a claimed range of 260 miles, and will feature special badges and extra kit. Buyers will also be offered 2000kWh of charging via We Charge, which Volkswagen claims is enough for 34 rapid charges and worth around £500.

General sales of the ID 3 are due to begin in the UK in the coming weeks, and the model will eventually be offered in seven main variants, with three different battery capacities and two power outputs.

The late stages of the ID 3’s development has been hit by well-publicised software issues, and the early cars delivered to customers in September will be without a number of software features, including the augmented-reality functions for the car’s head-up display (although these won’t be offered on initial UK models) and some of the App Connect features. A free software update wil be offered once the systems are available, while early buyers can also choose to delay receipt of their ID 3 until the systems are fully ready.

Speaking about the decision to launch the car before the full software system is available, Silke Bagschik, Volkswagen’s e-mobility sales chief, said: “The software is not yet up to Volkswagen standards that we want to give to customers, but we wanted to give them the option of having the car and enjoying the driving experience of it as much as we are. And we will upgrade all the software when it’s ready.”

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Volkswagen offered a pre-ordering service for the ID 3 First, with more than 35,000 customers worldwide placing a refundable deposit. Those who placed a deposit in continental Europe were able to buy their cars from 17 June onwards. The delay in the UK was due to the extra time required to gain type approval for right-hand-drive versions.

Volkswagen sales boss Jürgen Stackmann claimed that Volkswagen was still aiming to meet its target of building 100,000 ID 3s this year but that it might be unable to fully recover from the extended shutdown in the second half of the year.

Prices for the ID 3 in the UK will eventually start from around £27,500 before the government grant for the entry-level 45kWh Pure version.