First introduced in 2013, the e-Golf was created to fill Volkswagen’s need for a compact electric hatch for the electric wave which swept the industry. While it was an adequate stop-gap measure, especially the 2017 revision based on the Mk7.5 Golf, the industry progressed swiftly. Volkswagen quickly realised that a more indelible solution was needed to remain competitive.
With the ID.3 EV unveiling in late 2019, Wolfsburg’s suits have decided to replace the ageing e-Golf with the new kid on the block. The Dresden manufacturing plant used for the e-Golf will be converted to meet the production requirements of the ID.3 this year.
The e-Golf was meant to be a compact run-about that was best suited for town and urban environments. Its latest iteration in 2017 saw the e-Golf get a bump in power and range, with the 35.8kWh lithium-ion battery giving it 134hp and an impressive rapid charging feature of up to 80 per cent charge within an hour. While generally being a commercial success with over 145,000 units sold worldwide, the ageing platform’s performance and range were apparent as the e-Golf started to fall behind its peers.
The ID.3, meant to replace the e-Golf, was built over an all-new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform, dedicated for the future of Volkswagen electric mobility. With a range of powertrain options available, up to 77kWh capacity battery and a 200hp electric motor, the range-topping ID.3 is claimed to have an estimated range of up to 550km. Even the base-level 45kWh variants come with a respectable range of 330km — a far cry from the measly 200km of the e-Golf. Rapid charging capabilities are also available on the MEB platform with 100kW (optional of base variants) and 125kW DC chargers.
While the ID.3 utilises the latest electric technology from Volkswagen, the Dresden production facility, also known as the Transparent Factory, has yet to be brought up to par with the ID.3 requirements. While the production lines’ conversion to suit the MEB platform commenced in mid-2020, the final assembly areas are expected to be completed by the end of January, with the ID.3 set to roll-off soon after.
Head of Plant of the Transparent Factory Danny Auerswald has said, “The end of the e-Golf is also the start of the final preparations for the ID.3. In just a few weeks, we will be opening the next chapter for the Transparent Factory. We are the second location in Europe to manufacture vehicles based on the new modular e-drive system. Volkswagen is thus underlining the importance of the Saxon plants in the group-wide E-offensive.”
While the e-Golf was a decent car, the ID.3 is set to usurp its predecessor from all aspects. Moreover, the fact that the ID.3 has already won numerous European industry accolades signify that Volkswagen is moving in the right direction.