On Wednesday, Volkswagen officially unveiled ID 4, the first electric vehicle built on the mass-produced modular electric vehicle platform, or “MEB”, to be sold in the United States. The ID 4 will also be VW’s first affordable SUV crossover to reach America, with a suggested retail price of just under $ 40,000.
ID 4 is one of the many ways VW should have bought Dieselgate, the high-emission fraud scandal that went public five years ago. In addition to nearly $ 35 billion in settlement fees and fines, VW has promised to spend billions more on a whole new range of electric vehicles in hopes of saving its damaged reputation. The carmaker said it will sell 1
The ID 4, which was known as the ID Crozz when it was still in conception, is the second vehicle in VW’s electric vehicle line to be sold in the United States, China and Europe. The first car, ID 3, is sold only in Europe. As a global car, the ID 4 is perhaps the most important car that VW has been releasing for years. And it wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for Dieselgate, admits VW North America CEO Scott Keog.
“I think we probably have [the ID 4] a few years earlier ”because of Dieselgate, Keo said in an interview with On the edge. “To go for a global big hit like this … it definitely came earlier.”
The ID 4 is expected to be a mass-market car – a car for “millions, not millionaires,” VW said in an ad. The price of the $ 40,000 sticker is slightly more expensive than the average price of a new car purchased in the United States by about $ 36,000. But when you consider the federal government tax credit of $ 7,500, the price of the ID 4 sticker falls up to $ 32,500. And when ID 4 goes on the assembly line in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2022, the company says it plans to offer a localized price of “about $ 35,000” (or $ 27,500 with the federal tax credit).
With the ID 4, VW will compete directly with Tesla, whose compact Model Y SUV was just released last year and sells for over $ 52,000. But VW says it is really aiming for a market segment that is currently dominated by petrol-powered vehicles, namely the compact SUV market, which includes heavy-duty attackers such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue. “There is no electric car in this market,” Keo said.
Today, there are many affordable electric cars, including the Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt and VW’s own e-Golf. But none of these vehicles is an SUV, the most popular type of vehicle in the United States. VW claims that ID 4 has a greater potential to accelerate the mass introduction of electric vehicles in the United States than any EV released so far – although if that doesn’t happen, the carmaker is likely to be happy to sell a bunch of them. Electric vehicles currently account for about 3% of total car sales in the United States, although this number is expected to increase as prices fall.
Of course, VW is not the only carmaker to come up with an affordable compact electric SUV. Ford, GM, Nissan and many others also plan to deliver their own small, battery-powered SUVs next year. But VW believes it may first put its cars on the lanes before this expected wave hits the market, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Nissan Ariya, Volvo XC40 Recharge and two new versions of the Chevy Bolt. Reservations start online today, with the first deliveries to customers expected in the first quarter of 2021.
The ID 4 version, which will be available on the market, will have an 82 kWh battery located in the lower part of the body to create a low center of gravity, and an electric motor located in the rear, just like the original Beetle.
Initially, the ID 4 battery, which consists of 288 cells in 12 modules, will be manufactured by South Korean LG Chem. But once ID 4 production moves to Chattanooga, the batteries will be supplied by SK Innovation, another South Korean company that recently opened a $ 2 billion factory near VW’s plant there.
The engine has 201 horsepower and can get 228 feet of torque, which should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with EV engines. VW estimates that the first edition of ID 4 will have a range of 250 miles according to the standard of the US Environmental Protection Agency. (The car has not yet been tested by the EPA.) A variant with all-wheel drive with 302 horsepower will follow later in 2021.
VW offers three years of free charging with the kind assistance of its Electrify America EV charging subsidiary. ID 4 is available with both AC and DC fast charging capability. The built-in 11kW charger charges at 33 miles in about an hour and charges up to about seven and a half hours in a home or public charging level 2. In a fast DC charging station, with a 125kW charge, ID 4 can go from 5 to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes – which is not too worn out.
The exterior of the ID 4 is unremarkable, but still manages to cause a very cool, muted reaction. When leaked photos of ID 4 appeared earlier this year, Motor Trend called it “vanilla,” but not in a bad way. The final product retains that offensive look that should help attract as many customers as possible. People who want Tesla will buy Tesla; the rest are likely to be happy with ID 4.
The front of the vehicle aims to evoke a happy, smiling face, not the bulging, scary front ends common in large SUVs and pickups. “The big trend now is like ‘How can I make everything look sinister and angry when it comes out,'” Keo said. “And so we want to go back to the days of beetles and vans: a nice, broad-smiling face. Let’s talk about joy, not anger. ”
Going back to Beetle and Wagon Days is more than just throwing away; this is a marketing strategy. Ever since Dieselgate, VW has been more outspoken in its appeal to two important demographic groups: nostalgic baby boomers who want to survive Woodstock and retro-obsessed millennials who are addicted to technology. You can see it in ID Buzz, the carmaker’s electric van, designed to return to Volkswagen’s glorious days of peace signs, bells and the power of flowers. And you can also see it in ID 4.
Inside, it’s the same size as VW’s other compact SUV, the Tiguan, though it has a smaller overall footprint. There is enough space for the feet, but the lighting is where the interior really stands out.
VW’s ID Light feature (yes, the lighting also has a trademark) includes a light strip that runs just below the windshield and another through the center of the dashboard. There are also slight accents in the door controls and a protrusion from the outer door handle that glows on the ground.
But ID Light isn’t just a bunch of beautiful colors; it is an ‘intuitive lighting’ system with different colors and sound prompts to signal to the driver when, for example, the car’s propulsion system is active and that the car is unlocked or locked. When I recently saw the vehicle on a media review in Brooklyn, a red light was rolling under the windshield in a way that reminded me of KITT from knight rider.
It has two screens, a 5.3-inch display mounted on the steering column and a 10-inch in the center console. You can match up to a 12-inch display with the Statement package for an additional $ 4,500. But it was nice to see a pair of screens that didn’t dominate the interior. So many car manufacturers are focusing on displays (I see you, Cadillac) in both gas and electric models, VW’s decision to downplay the screens is almost refreshing.
The infotainment system can be controlled using both hand gestures – sliding hand in front of the screen – and voice, using the “Hello ID” prompt. I didn’t get a chance to test any of the features, but VW says it will help reduce driver distraction.
There are other high-tech features that appear when you subscribe to VW’s wireless plan, including wireless phone charging and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And the advanced driver assistance system, IQ Drive, will be available as standard with ID 4. IQ Drive includes automatic emergency stop, blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance and other features that round out most ADAS systems. car manufacturers.
VW is squeezing its fingers that ID 4 is spreading more smoothly than ID 3, which has been overshadowed by software problems that have slowed customer deliveries. This was a black eye for the project and one of the reasons why VW CEO Herbert Dees was stripped of his role in the brand in June. (Diess is still in charge of the larger Volkswagen Group.) It is also reported that Diess has been removed from the position of CEO due to problems with the launch of the new Golf and other wrong steps, such as racist advertising released earlier this year. .
ID 3 and 4 are just the first proposals from VW’s $ 66 billion electrification effort. The upcoming vehicles will be based on concept versions of a large SUV (ID Roomzz), dunes (ID Buggy) and an updated version of its iconic van (ID Buzz), for which VW also promised a delivery option. They are all built on Volkswagen’s MEB modular electric vehicle platform.
The ID vehicle family will not be VW’s first foray into battery-powered drives. VW Porsche recently unveiled its first all-electric Taycan sports car. The E-Tron, the first battery-powered electric SUV from the Volkswagen Group, owned by Volkswagen, debuted in 2018. Together, these vehicles represent the pinnacle of VW’s efforts to dominate the new EV market.
They are also crucial in helping VW turn to Dieselgate’s page, in which VW was accused of installing illegal software in 11 million diesel cars that would help them pass government lab emissions tests and then this will allow cars to produce higher emissions outside the laboratory. The company thought it could get away with the scam, but they caught it. Tens of billions of dollars in fines and settlements later, VW has the unique opportunity to start fixing real.
“Companies don’t get a second chance that often,” Keo said. “You really want to kick your ass, you don’t just want to survive a second chance.”