Tesla recently made a big splash when it made several major announcements during its Battery Day event. Company CEO Elon Musk showcased several upgrades that would make its vehicles perform better and run longer. Moreover, he acknowledged that his original plan to offer an EV priced around $25,000 has not been abandoned. In the meantime, Volkswagen is shipping the ID. 4 – an all-electric crossover SUV – to dealerships in the United States with an attractive price tag.
The ID. 4 was originally introduced as the ID Crozz during its concept phases. Volkswagen designed it based on its MEB (Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten) modular electric platform, which gives engineers more flexibility as to the type of EV they want to build. The Verge points out that the carmaker probably hopes to establish a new eco-friendly reputation after its controversial "Dieselgate" scandal in 2015. This led to fines and settlements amounting close to $35 billion.
The ID. 4 is a follow-up model to the ID. 3 which was originally sold only in Europe. Now, Volkswagen hopes to make the emission-free crossover available in the U.S. as well as in China. Meanwhile, reports claim the abovementioned incident actually helped push the development of its EV lineup earlier than what was originally intended. With a sticker price estimated at about $40,000, some might find it a bit more expensive than a regular vehicle with a combustion engine.
Nevertheless, the tax credit offered by the federal government of around $7,500 should bring it down to $32,500. For comparison, Tesla's similar offering – the Model Y – costs above $52,000. Volkswagen is apparently targeting the compact SUV market in the U.S. which currently sees the Toyota RAV3, Nissan Rogue, and Honda CR-V as the most popular options for American consumers.
Tesla originally sourced its batteries from Panasonic, but will soon shift to its new tabless 4860 cell batteries which are manufactured in-house. Volkswagen, on the other hand, uses a battery pack made by LG Chem. However, when it starts production at its Chattanooga, Tenessee factory, SK Innovation – another South Korean outfit – will take over supply duties.
The Volkswagen ID. 4 is equipped with a 201-horsepower electric powertrain with a 228 lb-ft torque. It is powered by a 288-pouch cell, 12-module, 82-kWh lithium-ion battery pack integrated below the floor of the crossover SUV. The estimated range on a full charge is 250 miles.