BERLIN -- Volkswagen defended its decision to launch a higher-priced ID3 aimed at early adopters before bringing to market the entry version of its first mass-market full-electric car.
VW has started taking orders for a launch-edition ID3 that will be priced at below 40,000 euros ($45,000) in Germany, excluding government incentives.
One of the biggest hurdles to a higher uptake in electric vehicles has been the high cost due to their expensive traction batteries.
Volkswagen has said the ID3 would be a car "for the millions and not the millionaires," repeatedly emphasizing the affordability of the car for the everyday buyer.
But the ID3 will not be immediately become a car for the masses because VW chose to launch first a small-series launch edition of the Golf-sized car with a price tag higher than the cost of the entry version of its Passat midsize sedan. This was due in part to VW executives deciding that the company had to spark interest in the ID3's technology first, before the mass-market customers would feel comfortable purchasing a car with a different powertrain than a gasoline or diesel unit.
At the Automotive News Europe Congress last month, VW brand marketing chief Jochen Sengpiehl said the automaker is focusing initial marketing for the ID3 on "early adopters" of EV technology.