The new electric model ID.3 is so important for Volkswagen that, despite the software problems, it will be able to launch it, as promised, by the end of the summer. However, not all problems will be solved and the first owners will not have complete functions. The missing one will be completed by a subsequent software update.
The ID.3 model plays a key role in the future strategy of the VW Group. This is the first car built on the MEB platform, which is to bring electric cars at prices corresponding to combustion models and at the same time with an unobstructed reported range exceeding 300 kilometers.
However, following the example of Tesla, the manufacturer decided to reduce the price by significantly reducing the on-board architecture, instead of only a few dozen control units, it used only three. In the spring, this probably hasty decision began to prove to be a problem. There were errors in the basic software, which was supposed to ensure communication between individual computers. There were so many that, according to Manager Magazine, hundreds of test pilots reported them for 300 a day.
However, the Group’s management has also made it known several times that it is solving the problems intensively and that the software snag will not endanger the summer launch of the ID.3 model.
And they did not threaten, albeit with an imaginary star. Volkswagen has now published a delivery schedule for the first ID.3. Thirty thousand people interested in models from the introductory 1st Edition can start ordering a car in most European countries from June 17.
According to the spokesman of the Czech VW, David Valenta, those who have already paid a thousand-euro deposit for the car have already been contacted in the Czech Republic so that they can order the car on a binding basis. The classic configurator is to be launched in mid-July and the first applicants will receive their ID.3 1st Edition in early September. VW will have the promised date by the end of the summer with scratched ears.
But it will not be so easy. The car will lack two features out of a total of 256. First and foremost, it will be one of the drawbars: a head-up display with augmented reality, which projects navigation instructions directly onto the road ahead of the car. And in the second, one of the things that many new car owners have become very accustomed to, ID.3 will not initially support mobile phone mirroring with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
VW’s head of development Frank Welsch told auto motor und sport that the problem with this relatively common feature today is that the reaction times are sometimes too long and that the system sometimes misjudges when it has a mirrored mobile phone screen (with navigation, for example). overlay with your own (eg warning) message.
The manufacturer promises that the first owners of ID.3, both functions, if they have them specified in the car, will finish in the car at the beginning of next year at the latest. Alternatively, they may decide to postpone delivery of the car to the fourth quarter and the car will already be properly equipped.
The exceptional situation where VW supplies customers with a car with unfinished software is to be eliminated by membership in the special ID.3 1st Mover Club. The manufacturer will involve the owners in the development and collect feedback from them, and perhaps more importantly: they will not have to pay installments for the first three months.
So far, three versions are available to the first interested parties, all with an intermediate 58 kWh battery (range up to 420 km) and a 150 kW electric motor. Up to 40,000 euros, the ID.3 1st Edition can be purchased with 100kW fast charging, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, seat and steering wheel heating, navigation or 18 “wheels and advanced voice control.
For a price of up to 46,000 euros, the 1s Edition Plus will be available, which adds keyless entry and starting, 19 “wheels, augmented reality display, seats with massage function and wireless mobile phone charging.
The exact prices should be published by the manufacturer with the launch of the configurator in mid-July. In the case of ID.3, there will then be versions with a smaller battery with a usable capacity of 45 kWh and a range of 330 km and, conversely, with a larger 77 kWh battery, which will allow you to travel up to 550 km on a single charge.