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VW's first electric car already has over 20,000 reservations

Preorders for Volkswagen's ID 3 electric hatchback are running ahead of company expectations.

Preorders for Volkswagen's first production EV are running ahead of schedule. That's according to VW board member Jürgen Stackmann, who tweeted on Tuesday that the German automaker now has over 20,000 "pre-bookings" for its battery-powered ID 3 small car. European order books for the five-door hatchback opened one month ago, and according to Stackmann, the German automaker was hoping to reach 30,000 reservations by the time the IAA -- the Frankfurt Motor Show -- opened its doors in mid-September. However, according to VW, over 10,000 of those reservations came in the first 24 hours after order books first opened -- the deluge of interest actually crashed VW's reservation website.

The production ID 3 is widely expected to be revealed at the aforementioned biennial auto exposition -- at the moment, all that potential customers have to go on are some artfully camouflaged press photos and slivers of information from the automaker.

The ID 3 compact EV is the first in a range of ID-series models that VW has promised to deliver globally. However, the ID 3 itself is not expected to make it to North America, at least not initially. US and Canadian customers will have to wait for a production version of the company's ID Crozz crossover SUV, which is slated to arrive at some point later next year. The company's VW-Bus-like ID Buzz van will also eventually reach North American dealerships, but not likely before 2022.

While 20,000 ID 3 reservations are a drop in the bucket compared to the 400,000-plus reservations that the Tesla Model 3 claimed upon its introduction, VW's total is somewhat encouraging, especially as reservations require a 1,000-euro refundable deposit (around $1,100, £885 and AU$1,610). It's worth noting that in the case of Elon Musk and Co.'s entry-level electric sedan, production delays and other concerns appear to have greatly eroded the number of reservation holders who are actually following through with purchase. It remains to be seen if VW will struggle with similar customer drop-out rates.

Pricing, range and other performance figures for the ID 3 have not yet been announced. Back in 2017, a VW exec stated that the company hoped to undercut the Model 3 by around $8,000 dollars. If that pricing delta holds, the ID 3 could be more affordable than nearly every other electric car offered in Europe.

VW expects prebookers on The Continent to be able to place orders for their ID 3 1st Launch Edition models in early 2020, with deliveries scheduled for 2020.