Tesla hasn’t had it all its own way for several years now, with brands like Renault, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia all making their moves to grab a slice of the electric car market.
But it was the announcement by Volkswagen in 2020 that it was planning to launch at least 1 electric car a year for the rest of the decade that would have made Tesla really sit up and take notice.
Volkswagen’s size simply dwarves Tesla – it battles Toyota every year for the number 1 spot for most cars built – and the resources and engineering firepower it can unleash to switch over to electric vehicles is simply immense.
70% Of All VW Cars To Be Part Of The ID Range
By the end of the decade VW predicts that more than 70% of all the cars it builds will be all-electric and every new model will be part of the firm’s ‘ID’ range, denoting cars that run purely on battery power alone.
One of the key tricks behind VW’s ambitious plans is the development of a state-of-the-art modular electric car platform known as MEB. This is the heart of the car – the batteries, motors and chassis that can be simply modified to allow VW to build a wide variety of different shapes and sizes of car on the same base architecture. That means tried and tested engineering and huge economies of scale, which will mean VW can compete on cost from the outset.
Already, VW has released 2 ID models – the ID.3 and ID.4 – and has a whole host of exciting new machines in the pipeline. So let’s take a look at the brilliant electric VWs you can lease right now and some of the cars you can look forward to in the years to come.
So What’s The Difference Between The Volkswagen ID.3 And ID.4?
The 3 was the first car released by VW in its ID range – an all-electric 5-door hatchback, it is the spiritual successor to VW’s iconic Golf. In fact, VW has openly suggested that it sees the ID.3 as being as important in its history as the Beetle and the Golf have both been in decades past. And it’s confident, too – very confident, in fact – having knowingly prodded Tesla in the public arena by stating that its electric cars will be for ‘the millions, not millionaires’. Fighting talk!
So has VW put its money where its mouth is? The short answer is yes. The ID.3 has promptly become the best-selling electric car in Europe and when you look at its credentials it’s not hard to see why.
While the ID.3 may be Golf-sized, its design language is instantly more futuristic with modern, smoothed surfaces and a cool, contrasting roof. The rear is especially strong with bold detailing that means anyone following you will know you’re driving something a bit special.
It feels far more roomy than a Golf, too, thanks to the clever packaging of the batteries and motors. Interior space is actually on a par with VW’s much larger Passat, which gives you an indication of just how easily an ID.3 can swallow a full load of passengers and their luggage.
And once you’re inside, it will be even more obvious that this is no run-of-the-mill VW. You’re not in a spaceship but you’re certainly in VW’s futuristic interpretation of one; your own ‘mission control’ is a cool, floating centre touchscreen and minimalised instrument panel that is so neatly designed it makes you wonder why other car companies haven’t already followed suit.
The ID.3 is available with 3 different-sized battery packs, offering range between 205 and 341 miles. The sweet spot is the 58kWh battery version that delivers in the region of 260 miles of range and great performance to match.
Fancy Something Bigger? Try The ID.4
Hot on the heels of the ID.3 comes the second car in the VW’s new electric range: the ID.4. While the ID.3 is a mid-sized family hatch, the ID.4 sits on a stretched version of the MEB platform to create a highly attractive ‘crossover’ SUV.
The ID.4 mimics the ID.3 in being rear-wheel drive – the electric motor sits between the rear axle – and for now comes with a single variety of battery pack, a 77kWh unit, that can deliver range between 314 and 323 miles depending on the trim level you choose.
The bigger VW’s interior is every bit the equal of its smaller ID.3 sibling – managing to be equally minimalist and modern yet feeling even more premium thanks to its added space. It’s exactly the sort of futuristic electric SUV that we could only dream about a few years back. Well now the future has arrived.
So What’s Next For VW?
With such ambitious electrification plans you can expect to see a torrent of ID launches over the coming years. VW is already trailing sneak previews of its ID.5 – a car it describes as ‘a progressive electric crossover, combining the strength of an SUV with the flowing silhouette of a coupé’.
But it’s the ID Buzz people carrier that has got people, well, buzzing. The 21st century evolution of VW’s much-loved Microbus, the Buzz is slated for production in 2022 and will come to the UK, rather than just being the preserve of Californian surf dudes…
With power coming from either 1 or 2 electric motors, the Buzz is expected to have great range and predicted power of up to 369bhp! It will make the old camper vans of the past look like the wheezing old vans they really were…
And while the Buzz is one for the future, you can see all the great VWs we have available to lease right now by going to our dedicated VW leasing section.