How Volkswagen is taking the electric car battle straight to Tesla

Presently, almost every mass-market carmaker in the world is working on electric vehicles but few possess the realistic ability to challenge Tesla in terms of sales volumes. Of those few, one notable company is electric car

By:Updated: September 26, 2019 2:24:45 PM
Volkswagen ID3Volkswagen ID.3

In the world of automobiles, there is a big change coming up in the form of electric vehicles and despite the fact that most global carmakers are between 50 to 100+ years, all of them are today trying to play catch-up with Tesla, a company that rules the global electric market today. Putting numbers to Tesla’s success shows how it has dominated the EV market with 1,38,000 EVs sold in 2018 against the 92,000 sold by SAIC at the second spot. Presently, almost every mass-market carmaker in the world is working on electric vehicles but few possess the realistic ability to challenge Tesla in terms of sales volumes. Of those few, one notable company is Volkswagen which seems well-poised to take on the fight to Tesla in terms of volumes and technology.

Volkswagen Group and the brand itself has been working on developing electric cars with not just improved driving range but affordable cost as well, an aspect which has proven to be a roadblock in the adoption of EVs on a large-scale.

When we speak of Volkswagen Group, we have to consider that a plethora of brands that come under its umbrella – Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi, Porsche and several more. So, the group has something as affordable as a VW Polo to a hypercar like Porsche 918 Spyder under its wings and hence the expertise ranges from small city cars to track-attacking machines.

Now to slip this scenario in electrified cars, Volkwagen Group today has the ID.3 which sits on the affordable and practical side of the spectrum and on the other side, there is the Porsche Taycan which set a new lap record at the Nurburgring in the four-door EV category in August this year. Surely, it will be the Volkswagen ID.3 and similar future products that will make up most of the volume for VW’s electric car sales. The ID.3 currently sits at a price point lower than the most affordable Tesla in the market today.

volkswagen id3 electric hatchback rear

Besides an affordable price tag, Volkswagen ID.3 also promises a range between charges of up to 550 km which is an impressive number considering it should be handle intercity travel with ease. The cabin is loaded with comfort and convenience tech that is up with the times as well. For example, all controls – including those on the electrically adjustable multifunction steering wheel – are operated using touch functions featuring touch-sensitive buttons. It also gets voice control and smartphones can be connected easily through App Connect.

The ID.3 will be available with three battery size options – base variant has a usable energy content of 45 kWh and enables an electrically powered range of up to 330 km (WLTP). The entry price for this ID.3 version is under €30,000 (approximately Rs 23.8 lakh). In addition, there is a battery variant with 58 kW, which enables the ID.3 to achieve a range of up to 420 km (WLTP).

The energy content of the largest battery is 77 kWh, and its electric range is up to 550 km (WLTP). Thanks to its fast-charging capability, VW says it is possible to charge the ID.3 sufficiently for a range of around 290 km (WLTP) within 30 minutes, using a charging output of 100 kW. Volkswagen though expects the middle variant with 420-km range to be the most popular.

Volkswagen ID.3 unveiled at IAA 2019: Electric hatchback with 550 km range is world’s first carbon-neutral EV

All in all, the ID.3 does promise to be a viable option in the electric car market globally – and in India as well. The country is now beginning to embrace electric mobility witnessing a rise in the number of all-electric vehicles. However, options in all-electric passenger cars are currently extremely limited here. While the ID.3 won’t make it to India, a car on similar lines with lesser features should get the ball rolling for VW’s venture in the Indian electric car market with city car dimensions, impressive range, and a cabin up-to-date with today’s passengers’ needs. Considering all these factors and the fact that Volkswagen is working on multiple electric vehicle projects across body styles and price-segments it would be safe to assume that the company is ready for the EV revolution and also to take the fight straight to Tesla.

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