Electric Cars

VW might take deposits for the I.D. electric hatch in Europe

It wouldn't be to keep the lights on financially, but rather to gauge early interest.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

The first of VW's I.D. electric cars in Europe will be the Golf-ish-sized hatchback, and there have been more than a few comparisons to Tesla there. Now, VW looks to implement a preorder deposit system that also seems a little familiar.

Volkswagen might allow interested parties to place a deposit for the upcoming I.D. hatchback, Automotive News Europe reports, citing an interview with VW brand chief Juergen Stackmann. The deposits will help determine who is ready to make a "serious commitment," and while Stackmann told ANE it wouldn't be a large amount of money, it'll be big enough to attract serious buyers.

According to ANE's report, VW has already floated the idea of a deposit system in test markets, and apparently, customers in EV-friendly European countries are more than willing to try and get an early crack at the first in an onslaught of MEB-platform electric vehicles. Obviously, those putting down deposits would then get priority when the cars start leaving the assembly line, which in the case of the I.D. hatchback should happen in early 2020.

The hatchback is already being tested in camouflage, so a proper debut shouldn't be too far away, especially since its market launch is slated for early 2020.

Volkswagen

"We have tested it several times in Norway and the customers want it. It's surprising but people in Norway and Holland want to be a part of it. Germany is definitely not the pacemaker in Europe," Stackmann said to ANE.

The I.D. will be the first of VW's new electric cars in Europe. It's about the same size as a Golf, and it's expected to cost about as much as a fully loaded diesel model, which comes out to between $35,000 and $40,000 in the US. In the US, we'll get the I.D. Crozz SUV as the first car in 2020, with the I.D. Buzz microbus following in 2022.

Tesla first brought the idea of preordering a popular car to prominence with its Model 3 sedan. As ANE notes, critics believed it served the second purpose of helping Tesla stack its coffers as it expanded its manufacturing efforts. Nevertheless, the refundable deposits took off and Tesla ended up sitting on hundreds of thousands of them. VW's car may not have the Model 3's cult of personality, but it'll be interesting to see just how many orders VW can drum up before the car heads to production.

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