The future edged another bit closer when the Volkswagen ID.3 electric car was shown for the first time on Irish soil yesterday.
Appropriately enough it was in a hangar at Weston Airport, Lucan.
Yes, they are ready for take-off, but it will be next summer before the special launch editions – ranging according to spec from €40,000 to €50,000 – will arrive.
It is important to note, however, that potential buyers of more standard cars will have to wait until late 2020, realistically the first quarter of 2021, to get their hands on the first Volkswagen electric family car at a more affordable, projected, price (from around the €30,000 mark).
Regardless of spec, the cars, built on a brand new platform, will be seriously infused with technology.
A brief flick through the infotainment system, for example, bolstered confidence that it is intuitive to operate.
That’s thanks to new digital displays, controls and a specially developed central 10in touch display that gives you all the key information.
The car’s cabin is longer and narrower than your exterior view might deduce. The battery pack is stowed under the floor and, as there are none of the usual impediments, there’s good cabin room. Boot space isn’t great. It’s rear-wheel drive.
The model on display was the range-topper first edition Max. I look forward to seeing the lower-priced models of what they are calling the ‘car for the millions’.
With most charging done at home (80pc), it’s no surprise they are offering to set up a wallbox at your residence (technology lets the car pick the optimum charging time to avail of cheaper electricity).
Like most things to do with the ID.3 there are a number of options in every sphere.
As a prospective buyer you need to spend lots of time getting to know this car – there are so many details.
Just a few examples:
* The ID.3 will have three battery size options: 45kWh (330km), 58kWh (420km) and 77kWh (550km).
* They reckon you’d save €1,600-a-year on running costs compared with a 1-litre petrol Golf Highline.
* Those who pre-ordered to buy the first edition get one year free charging or 2,000Kw.
* There are several finance options, including one to cover maintenance.
The ID.3 will be on static display on Grafton Street, Dublin, Friday and Saturday.