MUNICH -- More than 10,000 people have paid 1,000 euros ($1,120) each to be the first to own a limited-edition version of Volkswagen's ID3 electric hatchback.
The company's IT systems were at times overloaded by the number of requests during the first day of reservations, Volkswagen said Thursday, with orders far exceeding expectations. However, when rival Tesla started taking $1,000 deposits for the Model 3, more than 115,000 requests were made within the first 24 hours.
Customers who ordered one of Volkswagen's 30,000 special edition cars will also get a year's worth of free charging at stations connected to the company's WeCharge app. Deliveries will start in the middle of next year.
The ID3 is Volkswagen's first in a new range of battery-powered electric cars built on the company's modular production platform, and at an entry-level price of less than 30,000 euros is meant to go head-to-head with models like Tesla's Model 3 sedan. It will be the first of more than 20 electric models coming from Volkswagen in the next few years.
The special version of the car -- which VW hopes will be the electric-car successor to the iconic Beetle -- is being sold for just below 40,000 euros and have a range of 420 kilometers (260 miles), with the base 30,000-euro version coming later with a lower range of 330 kilometers.