The first deliveries of Volkswagen’s long-awaited ID.4 electric SUV took place last week at the company’s Transparent Factory in Dresden and the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, ahead of plans to deliver approximately 150,000 ID.4s globally by year’s end.
The first ID.4 customers took ownership of their new all-electric SUVs last week, the second VW vehicle to be built on the carmaker’s module electric drive (MEB) platform, behind the wildly successful ID.3.
With battery capacity up to 77kWh offering up to 520-kilometres of electric range based on the WLTP cycle – as well as two smaller options, a 45kWh battery offering up to 300-kilometres and a 58kWh battery offering approximately 400-kilometres – the ID.4 boasts a 150kWh, 204-horsepower engine generating 310Nm of torque, housed in the rear axle and providing acceleration from 0-100km/hr in 8.5 seconds for a top speed of 160km/hr.
Launched in September of last year, the ID.4 garnered unexpected and immediate attention. At the start of February, when Volkswagen opened sales for its ID.4, the company was expecting to deliver “well over 100,000” by the end of the year and had already received 17,000 orders for the ID.4.
Just under two months later, Volkswagen reported that, by the end of February, it had received 23,500 European orders for the ID.4 and was now expecting to deliver around 150,000 ID.4s by the end of 2021.
“The ID.4 launch has been very successful and the car has been well received by customers,” said Klaus Zellmer, Volkswagen Board Member for Sales.
“We’ve still got great plans – we aim to deliver around 150,000 vehicles worldwide this year alone. That is about one third of our planned output of 450,000 electric vehicles in 2021. The world car is therefore a key pillar of our accelerated electric offensive.”
The immediate popularity of the ID.4 and its burgeoning order intake is even more impressive when considering the fact that many car dealers in Germany were closedfor much of 2020. Moving forward, Volkswagen has implemented a thorough training regimen for its car dealerships, as well as COVID-safe appointment systems for interested customers.
“The ID.4 is now being rolled out to our fully prepared dealers,” said Holger B. Santel, Head of Volkswagen in Germany.
“The employees have been trained well. In addition, dealers are operating an individual appointment system with a safe hygiene concept. Customers finally get to touch the ID.4, sit inside it, test drive it and order it.”
The ID.4, in addition to its all-electric platform, is designed to set new standards in digitalisation, such as its ability to receive regular over-the-air updates and new functions, making Volkswagen the first volume manufacturer to provide this feature from the Northern Hemisphere’s summer.
The ID.4, like the ID.3, also utilises the company’s ID.Light technology, which allows the vehicle to “communicate with light”.
For those with that little bit of extra cash on hand, the top models – the ID.4 Tech and the ID.4 Max – will also feature what Volkswagen claims is a “world first in digital innovation”, an augmented reality heads-up display that projects its display into the driver’s field of view, showing selected symbols dynamically and fusing them with reality.
More than being a clean electric vehicle, like the ID.3 the ID.4 is also produced at the company’s Zwickau carbon neutral manufacturing plant.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.