The introduction of the all-electric ID.3 is a significant factor in Volkswagen’s march onward down electric avenue. The ID3 is not a stand-alone EV but one of a family of electric vehicles to be introduced by the German brand over the next few years.
Regardless of its motive power, the ID3 is a brilliant high-roofed family hatch in its own right, winning the UK award as the best small hatchback of 2021. This ideal urban car is, interestingly, rear-wheel drive, thus pleasing the purists, and looks great as you can see from the images. The interior is smart and modern and has plenty of space for a small family. Other benefits include ease of use when driving and fuelling, as it offers both AC and DC charging.
Needless to say, the technology available is of the very latest. A strip of light spans the entire width of the windscreen visually communicating with the vehicle’s occupants. It responds to voice inputs and has many useful functions including aiding navigation with a blue directional light. It can also highlight dangerous situations in intense red and while during charging it indicates the battery level.
New safety innovations, such as a central airbag, appear on the ID3. The new airbag is designed to prevent front occupants from colliding with each other in a side-impact or rollover. Volkswagen’s new ‘Car2X’ technology is also standard across the ID.3 range, enabling wireless communication with other cars to exchange data about hazards on the road ahead. The car has received a 5-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.
In use, the car is simplicity itself. As the vehicle is approached with the key, it will automatically unlock. Then, as soon as the driver sits behind the wheel, the vehicle activates both the infotainment and air conditioning systems. The moment the brake pedal is pressed, the ignition is switched on. From that point the driving mode selector needs only twisting around to ‘D’ and the car is good to go. On arrival, the driver simply presses the ‘P’ button to engage the parking brake, then they are able to step out of the vehicle. The ID.3 will detect the movement and switch off the ignition. The vehicle can be locked with the key, or by touching the exterior door handle.
The ID3 offers a choice of three battery sizes. The compact version with 45 kWh net energy content enables a range of up to 218 miles (352 km) on a single charge, rising with the more powerful units. It goes without saying that range is dependent upon how the car is driven, the slight risk is that owners will perhaps be too enthusiastic with the brisk, sporty RWD acceleration. That said, range is now less of an issue and this VW EV will cover ninety-percent of most motorist daily needs.
Some would-be EV drivers have expressed concern about safety. In fact, the electric power-pack of the ID3 is very safe indeed, and here’s why: The battery is mounted between the axles at the lowest point of the car, ensuring a weight distribution close to the ideal figure of 50:50 in all variants. The housing is bolted to the body, thereby contributing significantly to rigidity. A strong all-round frame protects the battery system from damage in the event of a crash. This is closed off by an aluminium cover at the top, while the cooling plate and another strong aluminium cover are located underneath the cell compartment.
The main control unit and the connection box with its fuses are mounted at the rear of the battery system. In the event of a serious accident they instantly de-energise the system.
Zero emissions, of course, are ‘local’ in that the car emits none. As with all cars, emissions are produced in manufacture but car makers are getting better at minimising these. At least users know they are not polluting as they drive along.
So what happens to the batteries at end of life? Well, they go on! Volkswagen guarantees a minimum battery capacity of 70% for eight years or 100,000 miles. At the end of its service life – or the service life of the electric vehicle – the battery can be reused under second-life schemes such as for flexible quick-charging stations, or else it is recycled and used as a source of raw materials. Thus those who have concern about the environment can rest easy.
Here at MHH International we specialise in prestige cars and, although it’s a hatchback, the ID3 and its bigger sibling the ID4 meet that criteria. UK prices start at around £35,000. Get in touch to find out more about the future of motoring.