Sustainable Energy

Volkswagen's new fully-electric car sells out in pre-sale

Volkswagen's ID.3

Volkswagen has sold out of its new fully-electric ID.3 model before the car has gone on sale.

The automaker confirmed in an email Thursday that it had surpassed 30,000 pre-orders for the special first edition of the car, which is limited to 30,000 units.

The ID.3, which will be showcased at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt next week, is the first model in a fleet of fully-electric vehicles being rolled out by Volkswagen.

Since May, European customers have been able to place orders for the limited launch edition of the car for a deposit of 1,000 euros ($1,106).

Volkswagen received more than 10,000 pre-orders for the ID.3 in the first 24 hours of the pre-sale opening, the automaker said in May.

However, pre-orders for the ID.3 are minimal in comparison to established competitor Tesla. The Tesla Model 3 was pre-ordered 276,000 times in just two days back in April 2016, according to the company's CEO Elon Musk.

Volkswagen said the limited edition ID.3 would be priced at just under 40,000 euros, and the unlimited series version will be around 10,000 euros cheaper.

Production of the ID.3 is scheduled to begin at the end of the year, with the first vehicles delivered in mid-2020.

"This success shows that the ID.3 is coming at precisely the right time. More and more people want to switch over to e-mobility," Jürgen Stackmann, a member of Volkswagen's board of management, said in a press release Wednesday.

Potential customers who are still interested in ordering a first edition ID.3 can sign up to a waiting list, he added, noting that there would likely be movement on the waiting list right up to the deadline when pre-orders become binding.

Those who have reserved a "production slot" for the limited edition have until April 2020 to change their mind and claim a refund on their deposit.

Most of the pre-orders for the ID.3 came from Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The ID.3 has an electric range of up to 260 miles, offers three different battery sizes, and comes with a sporty design that Volkswagen promises will offer an "entirely new driving experience."

In an emailed statement, Christopher Burghardt, managing director for Europe at electric vehicle infrastructure firm ChargePoint, said the sale of 30,000 Volkswagen ID.3s was a "fantastic milestone for the automotive industry."

"Electric mobility isn't some sort of future concept, it's a consumer-led change to a traditional industry that's happening right now," he told CNBC. "Volkswagen is helping consumers on this journey and we're pleased to see such great news from a major car manufacturer."

The potential success of the ID.3 marks a general shift among automakers and consumers toward environmentally-friendly electric vehicles.

A report published earlier this year by management consultancy Deloitte said 21 million more electric vehicles were expected to be on the road by 2030, with carmakers from Fiat to Porsche unveiling their own electric models.

— CNBC's David Reid contributed to this report.