What moved you most in the course of the development work for the ID. family?
The ID.3 is an important milestone for our brand. With this car, we are entering a new age of electric mobility for all. We have worked intensively on this car and are really pleased that the ID.3 will be soon be taking to the roads of this world as the first member of our emission-free family of ID. models. Following the Beetle and the Golf, it marks the start of the third major chapter for Volkswagen. The great thing about it is that it perfectly represents the principle of affordable cars for everybody. This car is helping us to make electric mobility suitable for everyday use and accessible to everyone. It was a really moving moment for the entire team when we revealed the ID.3 to the world at the IAA in Frankfurt.
At what point did you notice that electric mobility was on the verge of the breakthrough that would make it accessible to everybody?
E-mobility is essentially not a new subject for Volkswagen. After all, we launched our first fully electric model back in 2013 in the form of the e-up! To date, there have been three main reasons why customers have decided against buying a fully electric vehicle: price, range and a poor charging infrastructure. We have solved the first two problems with the ID.3: it will be available for less than 30,000 euros – the same price as a comparable Golf. After deducting the environment bonus paid by the state and ourselves, it will probably soon even be available for less than 24,000 euros. The range is somewhere between 330 and 550 kilometres. And there is a great deal happening in terms of the charging infrastructure. Together with other manufacturers and IONITY, we are building a network of 400 quick-charging stations throughout Europe by the end of the year. In addition, we are creating more charging options at our own locations and those of our commercial partners and entering into cooperation partnerships with supermarkets and furniture stores so that a sufficient infrastructure is established everywhere as quickly as possible. As you can see, e-mobility for all is no longer a vision, but a reality.
In detail, which technology do you find most fascinating on the new ID.3?
The ID.3 combines the best of our models: on the outside it is as big as a Golf, on the inside it is almost as big as a Passat, its turning circle is like that of an up! and it accelerates like a GTI, but is emission-free on the road. We are starting with the ID.3 in the Golf class, which we established ourselves, and then gradually extending the family of ID. models upwards and downwards. Particularly impressive here is the wealth of exceedingly useful and supportive technology in these cars. Some features, like the new augmented reality head-up display, will even be initially available solely in the ID. family. Equally brilliant is the interaction with the vehicle via voice command as well as the smart light in the cockpit. It is slightly reminiscent of K.I.T.T., the car from Knight Rider in the 1980s.
What was the biggest challenge you faced over the course of the project?
It was clear to us from the beginning that the ID.3 wouldn’t just be any new Volkswagen model, but would involve us implementing a system change. Accordingly, we involved the markets and our commercial partners in the development process at a very early stage, because such a major realignment of the brand requires input from everyone. We also launched our customer communication measures much earlier than usual in order to convince as many people as possible: now you can. To this end, we have devised a comprehensive strategy, in which our new brand design and cooperation partnerships with the DFB and UEFA play a key role. We are using this strategy to express the new attitude of our brand and present ourselves fresher and more appealing than ever before, with a completely new visual language and a new logo.
What will you take personally from the project?
We set ourselves very ambitious goals at the outset of the project, wishing to become the world’s leading e-mobility provider. This presented us with huge and diverse challenges. Whether on the technical side or the sales side, we are entering completely new territory for the brand in many areas. It goes without saying that you sometimes ask yourself whether everything is going according to plan. In this regard, the absolute quality of our team has been evident. It is clear to everyone that it has to work. We have no second attempt. This has unleashed powerful forces and many people have well and truly surpassed themselves. There are new creative ways of approaching things and on many occasions established practices have been thrown overboard and the brand has been charged with new energy in the proverbial sense. It has been a wonderful experience, for which I wish to thank the entire team.
Is the ID.3 a car more suited to your two daughters or your two sons?
The great thing about the ID.3 is its individuality: fresh colours, brilliant bicolour options, sporty or more lifestyle-oriented looks, cool wheel designs and many other options to configure the ID.3 to your own personal taste. This appeals to all of my children equally, as does the vehicle’s sustainability credentials. However, I can well imagine that their configurations would be pretty different.