Skip to main content

VW says it’s not launching ID.3 electric car in US because demand would be too low

VW disappointed many when they announced that their new next-gen electric car, the ID.3, will only be available in Europe. Now the CEO of VW US Scott Keogh explains why the electric car is not coming to the US.

In a new interview released by the German automaker, Keogh said when asked why they decided not to include the ID.3 in their US electric vehicle plans:

To me, it’s just simple, simple logic. If you look at the segment that the ID.3 competes in, let’s call it the classic hatchback segment. In America, unfortunately, that’s about 100,000 cars. If you look at what we’re going to do with the E-SUV, that’s 4 to 5 million cars. So look, we need to get the cars on the road. We need to show success. How do we come in with the ID.3 and say we’re just testing it out? They would say small euro car, more of a compliance car. As opposed to an E-SUV, they’re going to say, wow, that’s in the heart of the market, in the heart of the segment, that’s a real car! Let’s go! We want to throw a good first punch. We never want to throw a weak first punch because you might not get a chance to throw a second.

The CEO is suggesting that there wouldn’t be enough demand for a small electric hatchback, despite it being something that customers have been asking for years.

Instead, VW plans to build in the US an all-electric crossover based I.D. CROZZ Concept in 2022, and then the I.D. BUZZ electric microbus will follow later.

They recently broke ground at their Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory for the electric vehicle production expansion.

In Europe last month, VW started production of their ID.3 electric car at its Zwickau factory, which they are completely converting from gasoline-powered car production to EV production.

However, VW says that ID.3 deliveries won’t start until summer 2020 as they accumulate vehicles until then.

Electrek’s Take

Keogh is not wrong. SUVs are a lot more popular in the US than small hatchbacks, but I think it’s still worth launching the car in the US.

It wasn’t long ago that VW was selling over 60,000 Golfs per year in the US — before the DieselGate scandal, of course.

I could see the ID.3 electric car going back to those Golf numbers — especially since VW has most of its $7,500 federal tax credits. That would make these cars start at just over $20,000. That’s a pretty compelling vehicle, if you ask me.

Also, I don’t understand Keogh’s comment about people thinking that it would only be “a compliance car” if they were to launch it in the US.

That’s what people think right now by them only launching it in Europe, where they have much stricter regulations to comply with, and where they need to sell more EVs.

By launching globally, they would make it clear that it’s not a compliance car.

For our US readers, what do you think?

Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.



Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

You can send tips on Twitter (DMs open) or via email:

Through, you can check out Fred’s portfolio and get monthly green stock investment ideas.