Volkswagen says when production of the ID.4 begins in Tennessee, a version with a 62 kWh battery (58 kWh usable) as well as an 82 kWh battery (77 kWh usable) will be built side by side. The cars are currently imported from the factory in Zwickau, Germany.
The announcement leaves out one important detail — the price — but the ID.4 in the US with the larger battery starts at just over $40,000 and has a range of 280 miles. The speculation is the version with the smaller battery will have a range of about 200 miles and will start at around $35,000. Subtract the federal tax credit and customers could be looking at a thoroughly modern electric SUV for a net cost of about $27,500.
The new entry level model will likely use one rear-mounted electric motor. Whether it will have the same power and torque as the rear motor used in the ID.4 with the larger battery pack is unknown at this time. “More details regarding the locally produced MY23 ID 4 EV will be announced soon,” Volkswagen said in a statement.
Given that the average transaction price of a new car in America at the moment is over $47,000, that means an electric SUV will be in reach for more Americans than ever before. The Chevy Bolt EUV is a similar car at a similar price. It has more range but is smaller than the ID.4.
Volkswagen offers a version of the ID.4 in Europe with an even smaller battery, but that option will not be available in America. For its US-built cars, Volkswagen is sourcing its battery cells from the new SK Innovation factory in Georgia. Production in Tennessee is expected to begin in the third quarter of this year.
Range is becoming less of an issue as consumers hear more about the advantages of electric vehicles and the increased availability of fast chargers while traveling away from home. Still, it is a bold move by Volkswagen to offer drivers a choice of a less expensive car with less range at a time when everyone else is crowing about bringing cars to market that offer longer operating ranges. Presumably the first US-made ID.4 SUVs should be in showrooms by the end of 2022 or early 2023.
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