The ID.3 is officially the first of VW’s next generation of EVs

Volkswagen has given the concept vehicles for its all-electric ID subbrand eye-catching (and z-laden) names like I.D. VIZZION, I.D. BUZZ, and I.D. ROOMZZ, but now that its electric cars are moving from concept to reality, the first production call will have a conventional alphanumeric model designation. Volkswagen officially announced today that the first member of the ID family to reach showrooms will be called the ID.3, which appears to be based on the original I.D. concept from 2016.

ID stands for “intelligent design” and the numeral 3 is a reference to both the new EV’s positioning in the compact segment, and the fact that VW considers it to be the “third major chapter” in that brand’s history, following the original Type I Beetle and the front-wheel-drive Golf. VW sees the ID.3 as bringing e-mobility to the masses. The automaker is aiming for sales of 100,000 or more annually.

Also, for the first time VW will be letting consumers pre-order a car, at least in Europe, with a special first edition of the ID.3. The limited edition ID.3 1st will feature premium performance equipment and be limited to 30,000 examples. Pre-booking for other markets will begin in September, following the ID.3’s public reveal at this year’s Frankfurt auto show.

The ID.3 1st will come with the model’s intermediate size battery with up to 260 miles of range, and be priced under $44,800, before any government incentives are applied. The base ID.3, which will  have 205 miles of range, will start under $33,600, and there will also be a long range ID.3 rated for 340 miles per charge.

Volkswagen ID. concept
Volkswagen ID. concept Volkswagen

In bringing a compact class EV to market first, VW is indicating that it is planning electric models both above and below the C segment, so we might eventually see ID.1 and ID.5 models. “We have a lot in the pipeline,” said Jürgen Stackmann, VW board member in charge of marketing and after sales. Volkswagen is hoping the ID lineup will help VW become the biggest global car brand by 2025, with more than 20 pure battery electric vehicles planned and an anticipated annual sales rate of a million vehicles or more for the ID brand.

VW is promoting the ID brand as carbon neutral. Battery production and vehicle assembly are done with renewable power sources when possible, while “unavoidable emissions” from the manufacturing process will be “compensated for by certified climate projects,” presumably including the purchase of carbon offsets.

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