With the imminent launch of production at its Chattanooga assembly plant, Volkswagen has followed through on its promise to deliver a more affordable version of its ID.4 battery-electric vehicle.
The 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Standard model will start at $38,790. That could prove all the more appealing considering the previous base model, the ID.4 S jumps to $43,790 for the coming model year — both figures excluding $1,295 destination charges. Currently, VW products also qualify for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits, meaning a customer could get into the new trim package for less than $33,000, including that delivery fee.
With the launch of the new base model, VW will now offer a variety of different ID.4 trim packages. And there will also be the choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive on the top-line ID.4 Pro and Pro S models.
Driving down price, driving up sales
While sales of battery-electric vehicles have more than quintupled since just 2019 — rising 66% year-over-year during the first half of 2022 — experts say the industry’s big challenge will be driving down costs. According to John Murphy, the lead analyst at Bank of America Research, EVs could make up anywhere from 10% to 20% of total U.S. new vehicle sales by mid-decade, the higher figure depending upon the launch of more affordable products.
Even as the first German-made ID.4 crossovers arrived in U.S. showrooms two years ago, Volkswagen’s then-North American CEO Scott Keogh promised there would be a cheaper version coming once production launched in Chattanooga.
That plant underwent an $800 million expansion that eventually will permit it to produce at least two BEVs. Prototypes are currently rolling down the line there and retail production of the ID.4 is expected to begin there during the current quarter.
Keogh’s promise has been kept. The Standard comes in nearly $3,800 less than the base 2022 ID.4, which started at $42,525 including delivery fees. And the imported versions of the battery-electric crossover are actually going up for 2023, as are destination charges which come in at $100 more this coming year.
New battery pack
One of the keys to dropping the price of the ID.4 Standard was the introduction of a new, 62 kilowatt-hour battery pack. It offers an EPA estimated range of 208 miles. The ID.4 Pro retains an 82 kWh lithium-ion pack and, in single-motor, rear-drive trim, gets an estimated 275 miles per charge. The more powerful twin-motor all-wheel-drive version bumps horsepower up from 201 to 295, but it gives up 20 miles of range.
For those who want the longest range and most lavishly equipped versions of the ID.4, the Pro S starts at $47,495 before factoring in delivery fees, with the MSRP for the ID.4 AWD Pro S starting at $51,295.
All versions of the 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 add some new features, starting with Intelligent Park Assist, USB-C charging and a larger, 12-inch infotainment display. All trims also get the automaker’s Travel Assist 2.0 that includes active cruise control.
And owners will be able to plug in at Electrify America chargers for up to 30 minutes at no cost for three years. And they’ll no longer have to hassle with entering any personal data or credit card. The ID.4 is now capable of using the Plug & Charge standard which automatically passes personal billing data from the vehicle to the charger. Electrify America is the first charging network to activate this feature with compatible vehicles.