Volkswagen ID.3 is almost an electric Golf – and cheaper than Tesla Model 3

Volkswagen has taken the wrapper off its first electric car aimed at mass market drivers. And the new, production-ready VW ID.3 will be cheaper than a Tesla Model 3.

The vehicle, which looks an awful lot like a slightly elongated Golf, will arrive in the middle of 2020. Prices start at “under €30,000”, which is around £26,800 in Brexit-pending, highly-devalued sterling.

That’s for the base model, which has a 45kWh battery promising 205 miles of range. There will be higher-end versions of the ID.3 offering 261 and 342 miles from 58kWh and 77kWh respectively, but the pricing for those was not announced during the unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The base pricing only entitles drivers to relatively slow 50kW charging, and a 100kW version of the car will cost more than that sub-€30,000 price tag. There’s also a highest-end 125kW charging version for the top-tier vehicle in the range.

Regardless, the cheapest model is still more affordable than the Tesla Model 3, which launched in Europe earlier this year starting at $42,600 / £36,490. However, that car does offer a 254m range as standard.

This is the first of the company’s ID cars designed for the mainstream driver. We’ve seen many proof of concept designs over the last few years, including an electric version of the iconic camper van under the new moniker I.D. Buzz. Now they’ll be arriving on European roads within a year.

VW has been slowly building anticipation for the ID line of electric cars, as it seeks to repair its reputation following the emissions scandal, when it was busted for cheating emissions tests in the United States in order to improve results for diesel vehicles.

Related: Tesla Model 3

“We’ve offered thousands of apologies,” said Scott Keogh CEO of VW in the US, back in November. “For us, this wasn’t about the apology — we’ve been doing that. This is the reassessment of the brand, of the company, and how we want to move forward. We wouldn’t be capable of telling that story without first having this moment to clear the air, to make the pivot. We couldn’t pretend it didn’t happen.”

Back in July, a technology-sharing partnership with Ford was rumoured, where the two auto-giants will share their electric and autonomous car platforms.

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