VW ID4 (2021) Best Electric SUV for the Money?. The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 compact SUV will offer all the best features of Volkswagen’s current lineup – hallmark driving dynamics, bold design, and advanced technology – along with long-range EV capability and 3 years of fast charging with Electrify America for no additional cost, to customers in the largest segment in the U.S., all with a price point aimed at the heart of the segment.
The ID.4 electric compact SUV is based on the modular electric drive architecture (MEB). While it is the brand’s newest platform, it also represents a return to Volkswagen’s roots, with the electric motor located at the rear, just like the original Beetle.
The heart of the ID.4 is a battery pack comprised of 288 pouch cells in 12 modules, positioned in the underbody to create a low center of gravity for optimal driving dynamics as well as extremely well-balanced weight distribution. It is housed in a lightweight aluminum structure that is bolted to the frame, helping to improve rigidity.
At launch, the vehicle will be offered with an 82kWh (gross) battery and a rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor with 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen estimates that the ID.4 82kWh RWD 1st Edition models will have a range of 250 miles with a full charge on the EPA cycle. A powerful, electric all-wheel-drive variant with 302 hp will follow later in 2021.
The ID.4 also comes with three years of fast charging with Electrify America at no additional cost, helping to reduce range anxiety. The ID.4 can be charged with both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) fast-charging capability. The 11 kW onboard charger allows the ID.4 to charge the battery 33 miles in about one hour, and charges to full in around seven and a half hours at a home or public Level 2 charger. At a DC fast-charging station, with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes.
Volkswagen has made a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050, in line with the Paris climate accord. With that goal in mind, the ID.4 is being produced at the Zwickau factory with a net carbon-neutral balance.
The Zwickau factory uses electricity that is sourced using renewable energy. The site includes a highly-efficient combined heat and power plant, which, long term, is planned to use carbon-neutral natural gas. Production of the battery cells, which are externally sourced, is unavoidably energy-intensive, but Volkswagen has obliged its cell supplier to exclusively use electricity generated from renewable sources for manufacturing. These measures reduce the carbon footprint of the ID.4’s production. The rest of the carbon-neutral delivery is handled via certified carbon credits for a variety of projects in Asia and South America that offset remaining carbon emissions.
Beginning in 2022, the ID.4 will be produced locally in the U.S. at the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant. Volkswagen anticipates investing a further $800 million in the Chattanooga factory for the production of electric vehicles, in addition to the more than $2.6 billion that VW has invested in the area. The factory currently has about 3,800 direct employees. Once production starts in the U.S., Volkswagen plans on offering a localized version of the ID.4 priced around $35,000.
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