Volkswagen ID.4: Everything You Need To Know
Curious about the Volkswagen ID.4 Electric SUV?
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about the ID.4 we receive at Bud Brown Volkswagen. We have put together some answers so you can be familiar with the Volkswagen ID.4 and what to expect if you make the switch to an electric vehicle.
Why should I buy an electric vehicle?
Electric vehicles have zero direct emissions from driving and can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions compared to traditional vehicles. Researchers suggest that there may be no way to combat global warming without millions of electric vehicles worldwide.
They’re fun to drive and quiet on the road, plus you can recharge them at home. They are also far more efficient at using energy compared to liquid fuel vehicles, which waste about two-thirds of their fuel as heat and friction. Simply put: Electric vehicles are the future of personal transportation.
What are VW’s plans?
In the United States, EV supplies have mostly been limited either to specific states or to luxury vehicles. Volkswagen is changing that with the ID.4 electric compact SUV, now assembled in Chattanooga, Tennessee. the first of a line of Volkswagen EVs to be offered in the United States over the next several years. Like all Volkswagen vehicles these EVs will be affordable and fun to drive.
Why is Volkswagen building so many EVs?
The Volkswagen Group has pledged to make its global business carbon neutral by 2050, and electric vehicles will help make that possible. By 2025, the Group plans to build about 1.5 million electric vehicles a year worldwide – including at its U.S. factory in Chattanooga.
Are they as safe as regular vehicles?
Yes. All Volkswagen vehicles are subjected to intense safety testing. They must meet rigorous safety standards and crash tests required by law, and often exceed these standards.
Aren’t the batteries in EVs just versions of what I have in my phone or laptop?
While most electronics use some form of lithium-ion battery today, the chemistry and design of an EV battery is quite different than those used in consumer electronics.
The battery in my phone only lasts a few years. Will I have to replace the battery in my EV?
EV batteries in vehicles are not designed to be replaced like those in phones, and it’s rare for an EV owner to face that issue. EVs are designed to provide a certain amount of power for many years of ownership. While all batteries can lose charging capacity over time, Volkswagen EVs have several strategies to help combat that process, from liquid cooling to energy reserves. The Volkswagen ID.4 comes with an eight-year or 100,000-mile (whichever occurs first) limited warranty on the battery pack.
How long does it take to charge the ID.4?
That depends on how much power the charger can provide, and how fast the vehicle can accept it. There are three general levels of charging power:
Level 1: Slowest; ideal for supplemental charging; Level 1 cable is included with the vehicle and can be found in the trunk; this cable plugs into a standard 120-volt household outlet; power output: 1.1 kW AC; range added per hour charging: 2-3 miles.
Level 2: Recommended; ideal for the average driver as it provides a full charge overnight (8-10 hours)*; most chargers found in public (eg: offices, shopping centers) are Level 2; home Level 2 charging requires additional equipment purchase and installation to charge from a 220-volt appliance outlet; power output: 3.3kW – 11kW AC; range added per hour charging: 20-30 miles (*Disclaimer: Actual charge time will vary and depends on several factors including battery age and vehicle condition. Battery capacity decreases with time and use.)
Level 3: Fastest; also referred to as DC Fast Charging, Level 3 is most often used on road trips; replenishes an 80% state of charge in ~30 minutes*; most drivers charge to 80% level as the last 20% of charge completes at a slower pace as the battery nears Full; power output: 25kW – 350kW DC; range added per hour charging: 250+ miles (Level 3 at 100kW or higher, ID.4 max 125kW) (Disclaimer: Requires charging at select DC fast charging stations. Frequent and consecutive high-voltage charging (including DC charging) can permanently decrease the capacity of the high-voltage battery.)
Why is it recommended to only charge the battery to 80%?
For the long term health of the battery in your ID.4 or any electric car for that matter, it’s best to not always charge it to 100% nor run it down to under 10%. In fact you will get maximum life out of your battery by keeping it in the 80% to 20% range. If you are on a longer trip, of course it would make sense to charge to 100%, however for your daily activities you will have more than enough range at 80%.
Can I plug in anywhere, or to any EV charger?
Your Volkswagen EV will come from the dealer with a Level 1 charger that plugs into a standard three-prong, 120-volt outlet. However, if you have a driveway or a permanent parking place, you will likely want to get a Level 2 charger installed at your home. Thousands of public charging stations are being added coast-to-coast and many apartment buildings, office buildings and parking garages are also installing Level 2 chargers.
What if I don’t have a set parking place?
That’s one of the challenges that Volkswagen, along with companies like Electrify America, have been working to tackle. Some EV owners may be able to rely on charging at their workplaces, or paid public charging. Other firms are building chargers that can be added to public streets. For some people who want to buy an electric vehicle, this may be too big of a hurdle to overcome today – but many companies want to solve it soon.
How much energy does an EV battery pack hold?
The non-scientific answer is: A lot. According to federal energy data, the average U.S. home uses 30.5 kilowatt-hours of energy a day. The smallest battery pack in the Volkswagen ID.3 electric hatchback sold in Europe could power that typical home for a day and a half. The largest available pack for the ID.3 holds 82 kilowatt-hours of energy – or roughly 5,500 times that of your smartphone.
Can I plug it in when it’s raining?
Electric vehicle charge ports and plugs use software to confirm they’re properly connected before sending electricity to a battery, and they’re designed to work in all weather conditions.
EV people say driving one is fun. What’s so fun about it?
It’s the very nature of electric driving. Your gas-powered engine makes its maximum torque and horsepower when it revs up to a few thousand revolutions per minute. An electric motor makes its maximum torque the instant it begins spinning, and it makes for a great driving experience. The last generation Volkswagen e-Golf was as quick to 30 mph as the same-generation Volkswagen GTI, even though the GTI had nearly 100 horsepower more than the e-Golf.
Volkswagen EVs come in rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions, and the Volkswagen electric vehicle chassis locates the battery at the bottom of the car, giving it a low center of gravity designed for better handling. All Volkswagen offer engaging vehicle dynamics and that can get even better in the Volkswagen EVs.
Oh, and it’s quiet to drive – there’s no engine noise or exhaust.
How far can I go in an EV?
Every EV in the United States has an EPA rated range estimate for a full charge. In daily use, EVs offer a constantly updated estimate of available range, based on your current driving data, your recent past driving history and other factors such as temperature and HVAC usage. Your range estimates may be lower in winter or higher in summer than the official number; batteries tend to work best at moderate temperatures and lose some capacity in extreme cold or heat.
What about range anxiety? EV owners must worry about that all the time.
Range anxiety can happen to EV owners, but it’s no different than planning your fill-ups in a gasoline-powered vehicle. According to federal data, the average American commuter was traveling about 35 to 40 miles per day before the pandemic; the next generation of Volkswagen EVs starting with the ID.4 are engineered to have EPA estimated ranges that well exceed those daily driving needs. Beyond that, the number of public charging stations continues to grow, and more tools than ever are available to help EV drivers find a charging spot.
What is regenerative braking?
EVs all work the same way: Batteries feed electric power to a motor, which turns the wheels. One of the ways EVs can help save energy is by regenerative braking, which simply reverses that flow — using the wheels to turn the motor and send power back into the batteries.
Volkswagen EVs have a sophisticated set of sensors and software that lets drivers decide how much regenerative braking they want, and whether they want the system to kick on the moment they take their foot off the accelerator pedal. At higher speeds, you may want to coast as far as possible. In stop-and-go traffic, the regenerative braking can make driving even more efficient.
While regenerative braking can handle a lot of speed reduction, EVs do also have traditional friction brakes. The software system ensures a safe engagement of the traditional brakes as needed.
What kind of tires do EVs have?
EVs typically come with low rolling resistance tires that help extend their range while still providing assured handling. These typically do not cost more to replace than comparable regular tires.
Why do EVs seem to have strange wheel choices?
Aerodynamics. Well-designed EVs try to reduce aerodynamic drag as much as possible to maximize their range. Wheels designed to smooth the air flow around the car can make a noticeable contribution to range in most EVs.
What about a transmission?
Volkswagen EVs don’t have a traditional multi-gear transmission and don’t need them; the motor connects with the wheels via a single-speed gearbox. You can set different driving modes that offer either more sporty acceleration, or those that can help save energy and are designed to extend your vehicle’s range in many cases.
Do EVs really reduce carbon dioxide compared to gas vehicles?
Yes, they can over time, especially when they use renewable energy sources.
While EVs do require slightly more energy to build, they can make up that CO2 deficit and then some over their useful lifetimes. Exactly how much less CO2 emissions driving an electric vehicle results when compared to driving a gasoline-powered vehicle depends on the source of the electricity the owner uses for charging, which varies by geographic region. In many places, electric grids are converting to more CO2-free sources – such as solar and wind – and as that trend continues, the CO2 benefits of EVs will grow. But even at today’s mix of energy sources in the United States, electric vehicles can have a CO2 benefit, as most emissions are lower for electricity generation than burning gasoline.
Do electric vehicles cost more or less than comparable internal combustion engine vehicles?
Electric vehicles typically have higher MRSPs than comparable gas-powered vehicles due to the expense of batteries. That said, many electric vehicles, including Volkswagen ID.4 may qualify for government incentives, such as a potential U.S. federal tax credit of up to $7,500. They can also be cheaper to run, as the cost of charging is generally lower than the cost of gas to drive a comparable distance. Plus there are fewer parts that need servicing (i.e., no more oil changes), which can result in lower scheduled maintenance costs. Depending on how long you own the car and how much you drive, these lower costs may help offset an EV’s initial higher purchase price.
Volkswagen strategy to make electric vehicles for millions involves driving down the cost of the components, including batteries, by building EVs on a global scale.
How much does it cost to charge an EV?
If you’re at home, your EV recharging costs are based on your electric rates. In some places, EV owners can get special programs from their electric utilities that offer special discounts for charging at night or during off-peak times. The current U.S. average price of residential electricity is 13 cents per kilowatt-hour; at that rate, a full recharge of most EVs today would cost less than $10.
Public chargers range from free to more expensive than home charging for DC fast charging, depending on their power levels and networks. In general, charging your EV is still less expensive than filling up a tank of gasoline.
If you are interested in the new Volkswagen ID.4, we encourage you to visit us at Bud Brown Volkswagen for a test drive and thorough presentation of the advantages of switching to an Electric Vehicle by one of our EV specialists.