Volkswagen provided three nights in a hotel and air travel from Washington DC to Frankfurt for this story. FRANKFURT, Germany—On Monday night, on the eve of this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen debuted the ID.3, its new battery electric vehicle. It’s the first BEV to use the company’s new modular electric architecture (called MEB), which…


FRANKFURT, Germany—On Monday night, on the eve of this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen debuted the ID.3, its new battery electric vehicle. It’s the first BEV to use the company’s new modular electric architecture (called MEB), which will underpin new BEVs from VW as well as sister brands Skoda and Seat. It’s about the size of a VW Golf, and the base model will sell for around €30,000. But unfortunately for us, there are no plans to sell this particular BEV in the North American market.

In the wake of the diesel emissions scandal, VW has gone all-in on electrification, as it’s the only way the automaker will be able to meet stringent new European Union CO2targets. To that end, the company has developed a flexible new platform for EVs, which in the past few years it’s shown off in a number of concept vehicles, including the groovy ID Buzz microbus and that wacky ID Buggy we drove last month.

But the ID.3 is the first production vehicle to use the new technology. At launch, the ID.3—which uses a single rear-mounted 150kW (201hp), 310Nm (228lb-ft) electric motor-generator unit—will feature a 58kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides up to 260 miles (420km) of range under the European WLTP testing scheme. In time, there will also be a smaller-battery 45kWh, 205-mile (330km) variant and a 341-mile (550km) 77kWh version.

Unfortunately, VW did not homologate the ID.3 for the United States or Canada, so there are no plans to bring the car to our shores. Instead, we have to wait until late 2020 for the ID.4, based on the ID Crozz concept, which shares the same MEB parts bin and tool kit but in an American-friendly crossover form factor.

    <p><em>Listing image by Jonathan Gitlin</em></p>                        <div id="action_button_container"></div>

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