Volkswagen’s first fully electric SUV – the ID.4

Volkswagen's first fully electric SUV - the ID.4

Following the compact ID.3 model, the ID.4 is now the second model to be built on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB). It is also the brand’s first ever fully-electric SUV. Most crucially, it is Volkswagen’s first electric model to be sold globally, and enters into the world’s largest market segment: the compact SUV class.


Volkswagen Group wants to be the world market leader in electric mobility and the ID.4 marks the beginning of the global roll out of the MEB platform. Across the Volkswagen Group it is envisaged that by 2030 over 19 million vehicles will have been produced using this sophisticated EV platform. In order to achieve this, the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is investing €11 billion in this area up to 2023, and expects to produce 1.5 million electric cars per year by 2025.


ID.4 production is under way in Zwickau, Germany, and in two plants in China (Anting and Foshan). Production in Chattanooga, USA, is expected to start in 2022 alongside a second German plant in Emden. By comparison, the ID.3 is manufactured in Dresden and Zwickau, Germany, and for now offered only on the European market.


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Under the ‘Way to Zero’ banner Volkswagen is committed to becoming CO2 balance sheet neutral by 2050. In order to drop its output of CO2 Volkswagen follows the principle of: prevent first, then reduce, and finally offset any emissions that are unavoidable in the short term. An example of the latter is the forest protection project in Borneo. Measures to reduce CO2 emissions during the production phase include the use of renewable power in the Zwickau factory, where both the ID.3 and ID.4 are produced. The calculation factors in all CO2 emissions throughout the entire supply chain and production process, as well as transport to retailers before handover to the customer.


Like the ID.3, the ID.4 has been awarded carbon-neutral product status by the independent German auditing body TÜV Nord. The entire supply chain, the manufacturing process, logistics and any climate compensation projects have been carefully examined. Put simply, this means the ID.4 is handed over to customers net-carbon neutral.


To ensure the ID.4 remains net-carbon neutral throughout its life Volkswagen UK has several partners to help provide greener energy. One is Octopus, which provides renewable energy for homes. Public chargers are also being rolled out in partnership with Pod Point and Tesco across the latter’s UK stores. These chargers also use green energy and cost customers nothing to use (with the additional facility at some Tesco stores of rapid chargers, which carry a small charge).


Even at the end of the usage phase, the battery from the ID.4 can either be reused in second-life concepts or turned into a source of raw materials through recycling. A pilot recycling plant is already being built at the Salzgitter site, where Volkswagen is setting up a battery cell production facility together with the Swedish company Northvolt.


The ID.4 majors on practicality and the MEB architecture divides the space for occupants and technology in a completely new way that favours the former over the latter. The room available inside the car is equivalent to that of an internal-combustion powered SUV in the next size category up. The luggage compartment boasts a capacity from 543 litres which extends to 1,575 litres with the rear seats down. Should this not be enough the ID.4 is also equipped with roof rails with a 75 kg load limit, while an optional tow bar is available with a 1,000 kg towing capacity.


The ID.4 1ST Edition arrives in the UK during March 2021 and boasts an impressive WLTP range of 310 miles from its 77 kWh (net) battery capacity. It also benefits from rapid charging compatibility of up to 125 kW, with the ability to add up to 199 miles of range in just 30 minutes. With 204 PS of power and 310 Nm of torque instantly available, the rear-wheel drive ID.4 1ST completes the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 8.5 seconds before maximum speed is reached at 99 mph, where permitted.


It is anticipated that ongoing series ID.4 models offering a choice of battery and motor options will go on sale in the UK during the second quarter of 2021. They will be available in a number of pre-configured trim levels just like the ID.3. At a later date a flagship performance version with all-wheel-drive will be unveiled.


Volkswagen's first fully electric SUV - the ID.4



Technical highlights

The ID.4 arrives in the UK packed with innovative features, intuitive assistance systems, state-of-the-art connectivity and extensive safety technologies to make this Volkswagen a highly sophisticated yet simple-to-operate electric car.


The ID.4 interacts with both its driver and its immediate surroundings. Aside from the 5.3-inch driver display a newly developed, centrally positioned, 10-inch touch display provides access to a vast array of information clearly and concisely. A 12-inch touch screen will be available on the series ID.4.


ID. Light supports drivers with an LED strip during navigation and can, for instance, prompt them to brake in the event of an imminent danger ahead. Later, an optional augmented reality (AR) head-up display will be available on series models. It projects carefully selected relevant information directly onto the windscreen – although to the driver’s eye this information appears visually positioned within a range of around three to ten metres ahead.


Like the ID.3, all controls – including those on the electrically adjustable multifunction steering wheel – are operated using touch, featuring touch-sensitive buttons. Only the electric windows, door mirrors and hazard warning lights are operated using conventional physical switches.


Meanwhile, intelligent natural voice control also plays its part in simplifying yet enhancing the ID.4 travel experience. Drivers or front seat passengers can speak to the ID.4, simply by saying “hello ID.” before giving a verbal instruction.


Passive safety equipment includes the Emergency System and a centre airbag, a feature first introduced in the ID.3. In the event of a side impact or roll-over, this airbag can prevent the driver and front passenger from colliding with each other.


Volkswagen's first fully electric SUV - the ID.4



Batteries & performance

The ID.4 is initially offered in the UK as the ID.4 1ST Edition Pro Performance, which makes use of the largest 77 kWh ‘Pro’ battery and 204 PS motor driving the rear wheels. During Q2 2021 an additional ‘Pure’ battery will be offered with the launch of the series cars. A sporty  The smallest battery arriving in the series ID.4 in the coming months has a net energy capacity of 52 kWh, which supports a range of up to 213 miles with a full charge (WLTP, combined electric range). In the basic Pure variant the electric drive motor delivers an output of 148 PS and 220 Nm of torque. The Pure Performance variant will have a 170 PS motor delivering 310 Nm of torque.


Meanwhile, the largest battery provides a net energy capacity of 77 kWh. This supports a significantly greater maximum range of 323 miles (WLTP, combined electric range). The Pro Performance variant, with which the ID.4 launches, generates 204 PS from the electric motor and a torque peak of 310 Nm.


In all three cases, the ID.4 is rear-engined, and rear-wheel drive – harking back to the earliest engineering roots of the brand and the debut of the original Beetle. The electric motor, capable of spinning up to 16,000 rpm, sits above the rear axle just ahead of the rear wheels, and sends its torque to a single-speed gearbox with differential. This set-up creates ideal conditions for agile handling and impressive traction, while also permitting a small turning circle of just 10.2 metres


One of the main strengths of the permanently excited synchronous motor (PSM) in the ID.4 is its efficiency, which is measured at above 90 % in almost all driving situations. Volkswagen has supported this engineering achievement by using an innovative technology known as a hairpin winding: the stator’s coils are made from square copper wires, which after bending are visually similar to hairpins. This hairpin winding technique enables the wires to be packed more tightly. As result, there is more copper in the stator – power and torque are increased, while cooling is more efficient. Together, the gearbox, power and control electronics and the electric drive motor itself weigh roughly 90 kg and in terms of size could fit into a typical gym bag.


Furthermore, the drivetrain is so quiet that it can barely be heard outside the car. Indeed it is so noiseless that a loudspeaker emitting a synthetic electronic engine sound up to a speed of around 18 mph is fitted in order to warn passers-by that the car is operating near them.


Recuperation of up to 0.25 g is available in the ID.4. The driver decides via a rocker switch whether the car should recuperate energy when the accelerator is released. If the D (Drive) position is engaged, the car will coast in most situations – the electric motor is not supplied with current and rotates freely.


In the B (Brake) position, the electric drive motor functions as a generator and feeds power back into the battery. This also happens when the vehicle is braked: the electric motor performs deceleration on its own up to around 0.25 g, which represents the majority of everyday situations. The conventional hydraulic wheel brakes also come into play above 0.25 g, and the transition to assisted braking is practically unnoticeable.


When it comes time to recharge, the ID.4 can handle either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) and has full fast-charging capability. The 77 kWh version charges with a power rating of up to 125 kW (DC), which translates to gaining a range of up to 199 miles in just 30 minutes.


The car’s battery housing is an aluminium lightweight structure in a scalable truss design. The housing is bolted to the body, thereby supporting rigidity. The battery modules each integrate 24 pouch cells with a flexible outer sleeve. They weigh 344 kg (ID.4 Pure) and 493 kg (ID.4 Pro) respectively. The smaller battery integrates nine modules in a housing with ten compartments, while the large battery comprises 12 modules, which are accommodated in a truss structure with 12 compartments. In the case of the larger battery the aforementioned aluminium framework accounts for a fifth of the weight.


The temperature of the cell modules is regulated by a floor plate with integrated water channels which is connected to a coolant circuit with air conditioning compressor and electric heater. The thermal management system is designed to ensure that the battery is, as far as possible, operated in the ideal temperature range (around 25 degrees Celsius). This optimises power output, fast DC charging and the battery service life.


Volkswagen guarantees that the battery will still have at least 70% of its original capacity after eight years of operation or 100,000 miles. A second coolant circuit in the ID.4 supplies the electric drive motor, the power and control electronics and the charger.


Volkswagen's first fully electric SUV - the ID.4



MEB platform

The ID.4 is the second Volkswagen to be based on the newly developed, modular electric drive matrix – known as MEB. While the ID.3 was the first model to use this platform, it is the ID.4 that marks the global roll out of the platform. Across the Volkswagen Group it is envisaged that 19 million vehicles will be built globally on the MEB platform by 2030.


As a way of offering affordable e-mobility to as many people as possible, Volkswagen developed the modular electric drive matrix (MEB), a platform that complements the previous modular transverse toolkit (MQB). The first MEB-based volume model is the ID.3 and, while the exterior dimensions of that car are not dissimilar to the best-selling Golf, with the help of the new MEB architecture it is able to offer a remarkably spacious interior more aligned to that of the Passat class. The ID.4 is the same, and for a footprint comparable to the Tiguan it offers interior space more akin to the Tiguan Allspace. The key to this achievement is the newly conceived platform.


Thanks to the design approach taken with MEB, there are numerous benefits in terms of the package, such as the efficient arrangement of drive components and auxiliary units, as well as the obvious space advantages in the vehicle interior.


The ID.4’s electric drive primarily consists of the permanent-magnet synchronous motor including power electronics and gearbox, which have all been integrated into the rear axle. A high-voltage battery is efficiently arranged in the underbody to save space, while auxiliary units – such as the air conditioning compressor and steering rack – have been integrated into the vehicle’s front end.


The MEB’s power electronics control the high-voltage energy flow between motor and battery and, in this process, the system converts the direct current (DC) stored in the battery to alternating current (AC) for the drive motor. The 12 V DC electrical system is simultaneously supplied with low voltage by a DC/DC converter. Power is transmitted from the motor to the rear axle using a single-speed gearbox. Together, motor, power electronics and gearbox form a compact unit.




The ID.4 has a three-year (first- and second-year manufacturer operated, third-year retailer-operated) / 60,000-mile mechanical warranty. In addition, it comes with a 12-year body protection guarantee, three-year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover. The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.


Additionally, Volkswagen offers an eight-year EV battery warranty which takes the form of a guarantee for eight years or 100,000 miles/160,000 km (whichever is soonest), on all material or manufacturing defects.


Gradual reduction in battery capacity over time is integral to the nature of the component, and does not represent a defect under the terms of this guarantee, as long as the reduction in capacity is not in excess of the value specified for this vehicle in the owner’s manual.


With the exception of the warranty term, all warranty conditions stipulated by the Volkswagen Retailer selling the vehicle (prerequisites, criteria for freedom from defects, exclusions, settlement of claims, entry into force and start of extended warranty term, scope of application etc.) also apply to the high voltage battery.



Technical data

ID.4 Pro Performance ID.4 Pure (launching Q2) ID.4 Pure Performance (launching Q2)
Battery capacity (net) 77 kWh 52 kWh 52 kWh
Max power 204 PS (150 kW) 148 PS (109 kW) 170 PS (125 kW)
Max torque 310 Nm 220 Nm 310 Nm
Max speed 99 mph 99 mph 99 mph
Acceleration, (0-62 mph) 8.5 sec 10.9 sec 9.0 sec
Energy consumption 3.8 miles/kWh 3.9 miles/kWh 3.9 miles/kWh
Range (WLTP combined) 310 miles Up to 213 miles Up to 213 miles
Height 1,612 mm 1,612 mm 1,612 mm
Width (inc. door mirrors) 2,108 mm 2,108 mm 2,108 mm
Width (exc. door mirrors) 1,852 mm 1,852 mm 1,852 mm
Length 4,584 mm 4,584 mm 4,584 mm
Wheelbase 2,766 mm 2,766 mm 2,766 mm
Turning circle 10.2 m 10.2 m 10.2 m
Kerb weight (DIN) 2,049 kg 1,891 kg 1,891 kg
Battery weight 493 kg 344 kg 344 kg
Boot volume (seats up/down) 543 / 1,575 litres 543 / 1,575 litres 543 / 1,575 litres
Max. trailer load (braked) 1,000 kg 1,000 kg 1,000 kg


For more information on the ID.4 or to book a test drive click here


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