Volkswagen ID 3 confirmed as fastest-charging EV hatchback

Volkswagen has revealed charging and battery details of its upcoming ID 3 electric hatchback, ahead of production getting under way later this year. 

The ID 3’s lithium-ion cells have been designed to allow for a charging capacity of up to 125kW, which puts it ahead of every other mainstream electric car currently on sale. Only premium EVs including the Audi E-tron and Tesla Model X can charge faster. 

Volkswagen guarantees the batteries will retain “at least 70%” of their usable capacity after eight years or 100,000 miles of use.

As part of the company’s roll-out of its new ID electric vehicles, a new range of domestic charging points has been designed to allow owners to fully charge their cars overnight or during a working day. 

The new wall boxes work with charging capacities of up to 11kW (AC), allowing faster charge times than a conventional 230-volt power supply. A fast-charge point would give the ID 3 roughly 162 miles of range in half an hour. 

The 261-mile battery utilised in the ID 3 First will be the middle of three battery sizes offered in the ID 3 range, which Volkswagen believes will be the most popular. The £25,500 entry-level version will offer a range of 205 miles, with the largest battery allowing for 342 miles. It is understood the three batteries will be 45, 58 and 77kWh respectively.

The company says it has received pre-orders for more than half of the launch edition versions of its Renault Zoe rival.

Customers in 29 European countries have been able to pay a deposit to pre-book one of the 30,000 examples of the ID 3 First models, which will feature a WLTP-certified range of 261 miles and will be priced at less than €40,000 (£34,000) in Germany. Deliveries are due to begin in April 2020.

In the markets where it is available, the range-topping Max trim includes a panoramic sunroof and augmented-reality head-up display. 

Volkswagen also said the ID 3 First edition will be offered with 2000kWh of free charging at public charging points using the firm’s We Charge app, on a European charging network. That includes charge points on the Ionity network, which is expanding into the UK. VW also has a deal with Tesco to install 600 rapid chargers at its supermarkets by 2020, although it is not yet confirmed if access to these would be part of the 2000kWh deal.

The ID 3 is 4100mm long, 1800mm wide and 1530mm high, making it 155mm longer, 9mm wider and 77mm higher than the seventh-generation Golf, although the electric powertrain means that it is set to offer substantially more interior space. Stackmann added: “From the outside, the ID 3 will be as large as a Golf. In the interior, it will be as spacious as a medium-sized car.”

ID 3 production run will start at Volkswagen’s Zwickau factory near the end of this year. The firm is aiming to deliver more than 100,000 examples in 2020, with 110,000 on average per year afterwards. That is part of VW’s goal to sell more than 10 million electric vehicles in the next 10 years.