Dresden / Wolfsburg (dpa) - With a few weeks delay, the first customers will receive the new ID.3 electric car from Volkswagen this Friday.

The most important model by far for the largest car company for the coming years marks the start of a series of pure electric vehicles in which billions are being invested.

VW will first hand over the car to a selected number of buyers in Dresden and Wolfsburg before the general market launch starts next Monday.

The ID.3 is intended to help make e-mobility suitable for the masses.

It is relatively cheap compared to previous mid-range electric cars and has a longer range.

The compact SUV ID.4 will follow as further e-models in the series at the turn of the year, and later the electric bulli ID.Buzz.

Group subsidiaries such as Audi, Skoda or Seat use the same platform: The modular electric drive kit (MEB) is the basis for numerous future models, of which up to 22 million are to be manufactured by 2028.

First there is the ID.3 in a limited special edition, the series model should then be on the road from October.

VW had started production in November 2019 in Zwickau, when Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) accompanied the opening of the line.

From 2021, the car will also come from the “Transparent Factory” in Dresden.

There had been problems with the software.

The market launch of the ID.3 was originally planned for the summer.

But the networking of the control units in particular had proven to be a very complex issue.

Some functions are not yet available in the cars that have now been delivered; customers will have to reload updates in winter.

The industry magazine “Auto, Motor und Sport” saw after a driving test in the processing and electronics of the ID.3 “there is still a considerable need for improvement”.

Production of the ID.4 has already started, also in Zwickau.

The demand for smaller electric cars in particular has recently risen due to the increased purchase premiums.

Adapting the necessary manufacturing capacities is difficult for the car manufacturer.

It is still unclear whether the breakthrough of e-mobility will succeed in Germany.

At the same time, VW has to impose an order stop, for example for the e-version of the Up small car, because production here cannot keep up with the orders, which means longer waiting times.

CEO Herbert Diess recently also had the boss of US rival Tesla, Elon Musk, test drive an ID.3.

Volkswagen is investing a total of around 33 billion euros in electric mobility by 2024, a third of which is for the core brand.

Gradually, several plants will be completely converted and the workforce will be further qualified.

The production of the car should be CO2-neutral.

In the supply chains for battery raw materials, VW wants to increase the transparency of working conditions and environmental impacts and has entered into a partnership with the agency RCS Global, which specializes in this.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200911-99-513851 / 3