If you have an order placed on Volkswagen’s all-new electric car – or intend to put a deposit down soon – you might be waiting a while for it to arrive. According to one of the German brand’s biggest UK dealer networks, the first allocation of 1,500 ID.3 battery-electric vehicles were sold out in just 48 hours when deposits could be placed back in May 2019, some four months before images of the production-ready car were revealed.

And it claims another 20,000 people have shown an intent to buy one of the plug-in cars since, suggesting delivery times for some customers could be backed up.

  • The VW ID.3 1st edition electric cars were were made available in May 2019
  • This was 4 months before images and details of the car were officially revealed
  • First allocation of 1,500 cars were sold in 48 hours, according to a UK dealer
  • Fears over supply have grown given the recent bottleneck in battery availability for electric cars.

Alan Day Group, which was given just 35 of the UK ‘1st edition’ ID.3 deliveries, said its allocation was bought up within an hour of being made available online in May last year.

Buyers have to pre-book one of these early models – of which 30,000 are available across Europe – with a deposit of £750 to secure their build slot.

These cars will be available for the first set of customers to spec at the end of March – around the 28 or 29, This is Money has been told – as Volkswagen’s ramps-up efforts to sell plug-in models to repair the damage to its reputation as a result of the diesel emissions cheating scandal. These vehicles are then due to be the first cars to arrive in the summer.

The German company’s Golf-sized hatchback debuts the new ‘ID’ range, which will be made up of 20 electric vehicles released over the course of the next decade as part of a €9 billion investment by the manufacturer.

Prices for the ID.3 start from under £30,000 and the 1st edition versions – one of three that will eventually be available – can cover up to 261 miles on a full battery.

That means it will has a claimed range that’s seven miles longer than Tesla’s least expensive Model 3 – yet will cost around £10,000 less than its American rival.

According to Alan Day Group – though disputed by VW UK – some 20,000 drivers have already reportedly shown intent to buy an ID.3. That’s more than the total number of Lexus models registered in the UK in 2019.

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A VW UK spokesman told This is Money: “We have not announced final pricing, or indeed opened the order books for any variant of ID.3 yet.”

Nick Wells, who is head of business at the Alan Day Group, believes the new range of electric vehicles will tempt even the most staunch petrolheads to switch to plug-in cars.

“To sell 1,500 from a range that hasn’t even hit the market yet is unprecedented and suggests we are on the cusp of an electric vehicle revolution,” he said.

“VW electric vehicles have come a long way in an incredibly short space of time and depending on what battery pack you have users will have a usable range of 280 miles which is more than most customers would drive on any one day.

“Now people can jump in the car and go without having that range anxiety.

“Nowadays people – particularly the under 30’s market – want to do their bit for the environment and we often hear people saying buying an electric vehicle is the first step in becoming more environmentally aware.”

Industry experts claim charging a car will soon be a normal part of life’s routine, no different from charging a mobile phone, as the sector gears up to be more eco-friendly in line with government targets.

The drive towards the electrification of the industry has become more intense since the government brought forward a sales ban of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by five years to 2035 rather than 2040, as initially planned.

Transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said this week that this deadline could be cut by another three years to 2032.

ARTICLE: This is MONEY [UK] | Pre-orders for Volkswagen’s first 1,500 ID.3 electric cars sold out in TWO DAYS in Britain

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