With the ID 3 scheduled to be released for commercial purchase within the coming weeks, Volkswagen has announced that they have already started production of the ID 4, which will serve as an electric SUV in their ambitious and expanding range of electric vehicles. In the past few years, with the demand to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in order to mitigate climate change and forge a more renewable and sustainable global economy, it has become increasingly apparent that electric vehicles will dominate the automotive industry in the near future. Consequently, companies such as Tesla, Volkswagen, and Nissan are attempting to pioneer an electric future and capitalise on the transition from fossil fuels to electricity. As a result, competition between these firms is fierce, with Volkswagen alone promising 3 million electric vehicles produced by 2025, in which they are contemplating spending an exorbitant £8 billion of their ID electric range.
The company has already invested £1.1 billion in transforming their Zwickau factory in Germany (which initially produced the Passat range of Volkswagen’s vehicles) so that is able to accommodate production of electric vehicles based off of Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive System (MEB) platform, which they hope will help to instigate and accelerate the industry’s transition to e-mobility, as it will serve as the foundation of all of their ID models. Aside from their own vehicles, Volkswagen are also exporting their MEB platform to other firms, in which it will be incorporated in any electric vehicles produced by the other brands under their extensive umbrella, such as Audi or Skoda. The Zwickau factory will be the heart of ID 4 production, with a capacity currently standing at 300,000 vehicles.
Even despite the recent pandemic and how it has impeded industrial productivity, Thomas Ulbrich, who is Volkswagen’s board member for e-mobility, insists that there had been a “successful start” to ID 4 production, that he deemed was an “exceptional achievement” in spite of all the adversity the company had faced. Even so, Volkswagen are already extending production of the ID 4 to their factories situated in the United States and China, who they are eager to promote the ID 4 to, in order to be the prevalent force in the market for electric vehicles in the coming months and years.
The ID 3 hatchback is Volkswagen’s response to the extremely popular Nissan Leaf and seeks to emulate the Golf with its design, handling, and infotainment screen, whilst being more aerodynamic, and having a larger interior, with available motors ranging from 48kWh to 77kWh and therefore causing range to differ from a minimum of 205 miles to a maximum of 342 miles in WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) range, and brake horse power to differ from a minimum of 148 and a maximum of 201. Evidently, the larger motors will be more expensive than the standard 48 kWh.
Although the ID 4 has not yet been revealed, and thus specifications are vague and liable to some speculation, it is predicted that it will be a rear wheel drive vehicle, in which the postulated 83 kWh motor will be mounted on the rear axle, being capable of around or even more than 311 miles, whilst producing approximately 201 break horse power, similar to the most powerful ID 3, and 229 lb ft of torque. Furthermore, the ID 4 is anticipated to come with a 4 wheel drive counterpart that will feature a second electric motor mounted on the front axle, which will raise the expected brake horsepower to 302 and the torque to 332 lb ft.
Whilst no images have been divulged of the interior or the exterior, it is widely believed that the ID 4 will be similar in terms of both its appearance and features to the ID 3 model that will precede it, whilst being somewhere between a Tiguan and Tiguan Allspace in both dimensions and interior size. The ID 4 will also come equipped with rapid charging capabilities, enabling it, on a 125 to 150 kW system, to charge 80% of its battery within a meagre 30 minutes. If Volkswagen continue to adhere to their current schedule, assuming there are no disruptions to production and finalisation of software, the ID 4 may be available by the end of 2021, with the 4 wheel drive version following shortly after.
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