Long before the US market launch of the ID.4, Volkswagen announced a special charging offer for its customers there. Those driving a Volkswagen ID.4 in the USA will be able to make use of unlimited charging for three years at Electrify America’s DC stations at no additional cost.
The Volkswagen subsidiary, founded as a result of the diesel scandal, has so far set up over 2,000 fast chargers at more than 470 locations in the USA and plans to expand its network to around 3,500 DC stations at 800 locations by the end of this year. The fast chargers enable outputs of up to 350 kW – which is more than the ID.4 requires.
“The ID.4 was engineered, loaded and priced to win the hearts of SUV owners who are simply ready to go electric—and fall in love with Volkswagen again,” said Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “By adding three years of fast charging at no additional cost through Electrify America, we are eliminating all barriers for mainstream compact SUV buyers to go electric.”
Market observers also see the announcement as positioning the ID.4 against the Tesla Model Y, whereby Tesla’s supercharger network is also considered a major advantage of electric cars in California. In June, Electrify America reached a vital milestone in the expansion of its rapid charging network: a first fast-charging corridor connecting both coasts of the country was completed. The ‘Cross-Country Route #1’ stretches across eleven states and more than 2,700 miles (4,350 kilometres) between Los Angeles and Washington DC. A corridor further south from Jacksonville in Florida along the Gulf Coast through Texas and into the San Diego area is scheduled for completion in September.
The timing of the announcement is somewhat surprising, as it will take some time before ID.4 is sold in the USA. The US plant in Chattanooga is currently being expanded for MEB production, and production of the ID.4 is not scheduled to start until 2022. Brand CEO Ralf Brandstätter recently confirmed this in a Skype call with journalists. It is unclear whether Volkswagen will export some ID.4 from Zwickau or China to the USA before production starts in Chattanooga. The announcement by Electrify America talks about “2021 ID.4” – but from 2022, the ID.4 of the 2023 vintage is likely to be built in the USA.
The free fast-charging service for ID.4 customers is likely to be a purely US cooperation. For Europe, Volkswagen’s electric car customers will probably have to make do with the familiar conditions of the WeCharge service. Depending upon selected tariff the kilowatt-hour at the local Ionity fast charger costs between 30 and 79 cents.
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