UBS disassembles & analyzes ID.3
UBS analysts have disassembled a VW ID.3 and come to the conclusion that the MEB platform is “fully competitive” with Tesla in terms of cost. VW achieves “first-class energy density, efficiency and scalability”. That being said, when it comes to the battery and its costs, Tesla remains ahead.
According to the UBS experts, VW has a cost disadvantage of 1,300 US dollars per car (currently 1,078 euros) compared to Tesla when it comes to batteries and it is “unlikely” that this gap can be closed in view of Tesla’s vertical integration and innovative strength. For the disassembly of the ID.3 and the subsequent analysis, the major Swiss bank worked with the electric car experts of the P3 Group.
In terms of the costs for the production of the vehicles and the important margin in sales, VW could reach parity by 2025, according to the analysis. In other words from then on, VW would earn as much on the sale of an ID.3 as on a Golf.
VW’s software platform and ecosystem are top-notch compared to most classic OEMs, but are “years behind Tesla”. The LG battery cells used in the VW ID.3 cost around $100 per kilowatt-hour (€83/kWh), putting them in the top 3 worldwide, along with CATL and Tesla.
Although an ID.3 was disassembled for the analysis, UBS says it expects to be able to transfer the results to other vehicles based on the MEB. Since a Model 3 was already disassembled two years ago, UBS considers its figures on the price difference for the batteries to be reliable. Based on this experience, the experts dare to predict that the advantage in battery costs with the structural battery packs in the Model Y with the 4680 cells could bring Tesla’s cost advantage back up to 2,000 dollars (1,659 euros) per vehicle.
Semiconductors worth 566 dollars or 470 euros are installed in the ID.3. This confirms UBS’ view that the share of semiconductors in cars will double by 2030. The teardown showed that VW had made a big step in the centralisation of IT hardware, but in the software itself, there were still no big differences to other classic OEMs. Many manufacturers have greatly increased their software and digitalisation efforts, but it remains to be seen whether the strategies will be successful, UBS said.
VW: ID.3 and ID.4 now with OTA updates
Overall, analysts see tech groups and pure electric car makers potentially in a better position to lead in innovation – in terms of vehicles, but also organisation, culture, access to capital and attracting young talent. However, in order to achieve the economies of scale that are important in production and lots of data to validate new algorithms, fleet size is an important factor that plays into the hands of traditional carmakers, he said.
Volkswagen itself, meanwhile, announced that all new ID.3 and ID.4 in Europe will be updated “over the air” with immediate effect. The software version ID.2.1, which makes this possible, is now on board all ID. models produced since calendar week 8. From the summer onwards, Volkswagen will provide owners of ID. cars with an update every three months. Customers who have already received an ID. vehicle will now also be provided with the new software successively. However, they will have to visit their dealer once for this.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
Source: Press release via email (UBS analysis), volkswagen-newsroom.com
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VW’s software on the Mk8 Golf is a disaster. Barrages of error messages, parking sensors not operating and lane assist and stop/start not available. The faults are intermittent and dealers are struggling. Mine has had 2 dealer software updates and a new steering wheel and still the gremlins are there. Since the id3 runs similar software I wouldn’t touch one with a bargepole at the moment.
Nor should you. Winter range is also not what it should be. Kona is your best bet now outside Tesla or the Ioniq when it starts delivery.
Otherwise keep an eye on the Chinese, with good service /; support network in Europe it might become an option.
I live in England, have owned an iD3 First Edition since 31/10/21 and have had no problems with the software. I charge mainly over night at home. We really enjoy driving the iD3, the ride height is excellent, the internal cabin space surprising and the boot capacity is bigger than my A3 Sportsback. The only irritation is having to switch off the Lane Assist, I am sure that will rectified in a future update.
Very interesting comment Ian Crisp…you are living in the future, no wonder you don’t have any problem with your car if you are owning it from 31/10/21
Share your view Mark Davis, had no end of electrical problems with my daughter’s VW Polo, and subsequently again when it was replaced with an Audi A3. I wouldn’t have another car from the VW range and that includes Skoda after my son in law’s dire experience with the software in his VRS. The problem seems to be there are some many features that these manufacturers can’t keep up and have poor software architectures and limited regression testing.