Volkswagen sells out one-third of new electric model in 24 hours

The ID.3 is Volkswagen’s first in a new range of battery-powered electric cars. (Bloomberg pic)

MUNICH: More than 10,000 people paid 1,000 euros (US$1,120) each to be the first to own a limited-edition version of Volkswagen AG’s ID.3 electric hatchback.

The company’s IT systems were at times overloaded by the number of requests, Volkswagen said Thursday, with the number far exceeding expectations.

Still, when Tesla opened reservations for the Model 3, more than 115,000 orders were made within the first 24 hours for a deposit of US$1,000.

Customers who ordered Volkswagen’s special edition car will also get a year’s worth of free charging at stations connected to the company’s WeCharge app.

The ID.3 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.