Volkswagen has put out some ideas for what new ID.4 owners (or many other EV owners) can do while charging their cars. I’m going to comment on these ideas while adding a few of my own.
First of all, Volkswagen points out the most important point, which is obvious for EV owners but frequently missed by non-owners: “Some EV owners choose to install a Level 2 wallbox charger at home for convenience or easy overnight charging, but weekend road trips or long, scenic drives may require a refresh at a public charging station.” That said, I’m not super duper into the phrasing on that statement. Sure, many owners install a Level 2 wallbox. Many others, though, just plug into a normal electricity outlet — myself included. I’m not a big fan of telling people or even insinuating that you have to have a Level 2 charging station to charge at home or work. All you actually need is a normal electricity outlet. For people who drive a lot, they may need or want a home charging station — but let’s not make newbies think that everyone needs one.
Of course, if charging at home, you can do anything you want in the meantime (within legal limits). On to the road-trip charging, though, and charging opportunities for those without home charging.
“Rest and relax: Recharge yourself at the same time as your vehicle with a quick self-care break. In the ID.4, drivers and front-seat passengers can retract the sunshade of the available panoramic fixed glass roof and use the available six-way adjustable seats with power recline to get comfortable.” Indeed. We all need a bit more rest, don’t we? With many a sleep-deprived night, I know there were some much appreciated times when I plugged into charge and got a little recharge for myself at the same time. Good idea from Volkswagen.
“Move yourself: You can use the time to stretch your legs and go on a walk around the neighborhood. However, remember to be mindful of EV charger etiquette and remember to not let your EV take up the charger once you’ve completed powering up.” No doubt — most Americans don’t get enough exercise, including moderate exercise from walking. It’s one of the greatest problems contributing to poor public health in the United States, and if you’re driving so much that you can’t just charge at home and work, then it’s quite likely that you could use a walk, run, or skip around the charging area — provided the charging area is in a good enough place to allow for that without sucking in a ton of fumes from non-electric cars. I like it. So far, Volkswagen is promoting some useful health tips that will make any of us feel better.
“Enjoy in-car entertainment: Take advantage of the Car-Net Wi-Fi Hotspot stream your favorite movie or television show on up to four compatible devices. Don’t worry about getting distracted — the Electrify America app will send you a notification once your vehicle has reached your desired charging level.” This is an interesting one. I assume most people don’t need a car’s Wi-Fi hotspot to enjoy some entertainment on their phones or tablets, but it’s certainly going to be a popular choice in general — even if the two ideas above would be healthier for us. Naturally, as a Tesla owner, I have a hard time not thinking about the much superior Tesla infotainment system when seeing this suggestion. When I bought my Model 3, we didn’t have much going on either, but then Tesla added Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and a lot more games to the large center touchscreen. It’s hard to consider anything else satisfactory after getting used to this. In any case, though, yes, we’re all connected these days, so an easy thing to do while charging is to pick up your phone, table, or computer and get working or playing on something.
“Indulge in a massage: A premier available feature of the ID.4 are its front seats with built-in, four-way massage lumbar and memory. After several hours of driving, a massage might just what you need to get back in action. Take it a step further by activating the 30-color ambient lighting option for a fun and full sensory experience.” Well, this is a nice feature I wish I had!! Or two of them. Volkswagen may need to up its infotainment offerings, but the massage feature is something I definitely wish I had in my Tesla. I’ll have to try it out at some point to see if it’s as good as I dream, but I certainly assume it’s highly enjoyable and would get very heavy use if I had it. Good on Volkswagen to take care of its vehicle owners like this.
“Stop and shop: Most Electrify America charging stations are conveniently located at gas stations, grocery stores, outlet centers, hotels, and large retailers, among other locations. While you wait for your vehicle to charge, step inside to buy groceries, grab a cup of coffee, shop for clothes or stock up on household goods. If you’re not in the mood to shop, keep it simple and treat yourself to your favorite snacks while you wait.” This is what I call “hotspot destination chargers.” Yes, indeed, if you’re going grocery shopping anyway, if you love sitting in a coffee shop and working or chilling, or if you need to do some big-box shopping and a charger is located next to a Target, IKEA, or Walmart, you can probably plug in when you arrive and just unplug and leave when you’re done. Much of our charging in the past 3 years has been done at a Whole Foods, and plenty more has been done next to other grocery stores or coffee shops. Unfortunately, our local Target is behind the curve and doesn’t have any charging stations yet. (Gasp!) If it caught onto the wave, that would be a nice complement to other hotspot destination chargers in my area. In general, Target has certainly worked on being a leader in this sector.
Overall, Volkswagen made a nice list of recommendations here. It’s a nice little marketing effort to go alongside the company’s award-winning Volkswagen ID.4. Keep up the positive and useful messaging, VW.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Latest CleanTechnica TV Video
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.