Other than planned, the curtains did not fall; unlike planned, the little ones did not shine on the bracelets of the world premiere guests; and contrary to plan, the first part of the VW show in hall 3 on the fair grounds in Frankfurt was getting very windy. But when Herbert Diess, the boss of the Volkswagen Group, came on stage for the new electric car ID3, suddenly everything was the same: superlatives, promises, pithy words.
"We will bring nearly 70 new electric cars on the market by 2028," announced Diess, and calculated that the "in total by then 22 million electric cars" meant the group. The fact that VW is driving ahead in the direction of the future is now an IAA Evergreen. So far every two years the Wolfsburg people have been announcing the idea of clean mobility, and then just as much after the fair as ever.
Empty promises off the assembly line
Ten years ago, at the IAA 2009, VW put the hybrid two-seater L1 in the limelight - he was never seen again. In 2011 VW found out that most of the cars were completely oversized, and had the minimal car Nil clap - it disappeared in the sinking. In 2013, three E-cars, E-Ups and E-Load drove to the IAA stage - largely without consequences.
In 2015, the spectacle with the slightly modified types E-Load-Up, E-Up and E-Golf was repeated and the former CEO Martin Winterkorn announced "twenty E- or plug-in hybrid models until 2020". Then the diesel scandal became known, Winterkorn and his plans were history. In 2017, at the last IAA, VW presented the electrical studies ID Crozz and ID Buzz. CEO Matthias Müller announced 50 purely electric vehicles by 2025. Now, in 2019, Herbert Dies and the ID3's turn.
The now presented ID3 should now really come on the market. "The delivery of the ID3 starts in Germany in mid-2020," it says, production in the newly converted Zwickau plant is scheduled to begin in November. Even now, the VW strategists move the ID3 "in a row with the car icons Beetle and Golf". The car is the first based on the modular electric drive kit (MEB). The platform, VW announces, follows "one of nature's most formidable forms: the honeycomb". It was "super light, extremely stable and absolutely sustainable". So should the ID3 be perceived.
Minimum price: Just under 30,000 euros
The most important technical details of the electric Volkswagen: At the rear sit a 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor, the input gearbox and the power electronics. The lithium-ion battery is installed in the underbody. First, there will be the car with a battery with 58 kWh storage capacity, which allows a range of up to 420 kilometers; Later, a smaller (45 kWh, 330 km) and a larger battery (77 kWh, 550 km) to complement the offer. The ID3 with the small battery should cost in the basic version just under 30,000 euros - all other variants are more expensive. VW gives a warranty of eight years or 160,000 kilometers of battery life - depending on what is achieved first.
The VW ID3 seems at first glance sympathetic. VW marketing chief Jochen Sengpiehl says that this should radiate to the whole brand, which should be "empathetic, friendly, human". The outward sign of this reorientation should be the new VW logo, which no longer comes as a shiny chrome, self-confident relief, but modest two-dimensional.
That in Wolfsburg a new thinking moves, also hinted Diess in his speech several times. There is no alternative to the environment than switching to electromobility, he said. The vehicles of the VW Group alone are responsible for one percent of global CO2 emissions. This should be different in the future - but not by simply fewer cars are built and sold. On the contrary: "I talk to people who say that there should be a lot fewer or no cars on the roads," he said. "For us, this discussion is important, but we disagree."
In short, this is how it is: With electric cars like the ID3, the world's first carbon-neutral vehicle of the world, as Diess calls it, climate protection and individual mobility can be reconciled. It needs, however, among other things, clean electricity. Diess therefore calls for "switching off coal-fired power plants" and "rethinking car taxation". Because to drive electrically, that should be worthwhile for the citizens. That sounds like it's going to be like that again - just with the charging socket instead of the filler neck.