One of the things that holds back EV adoption is the price. While the lower priced EVs are pretty close to the average price of new cars, we have to keep in mind that many buyers spend less than average either because they’re frugal or because they can’t afford to pay more for a car. So, getting the price down is one of the key things that needs to happen if we want to switch most of the market to electric. Fortunately, Volkswagen has some great news on this front.
The 2023 ID.4 electric compact SUV will be offered in at least three different trims, starting with an MSRP of $37,495 for the base model with a 64 kWh battery pack and aluminum-alloy wheels. The ID.4 is produced in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and comes standard with Standard/Pro (62 kWh), S (82 kWh), and S Plus (96 kWh) models that are available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
“The ID.4 continues to offer a complete suite of state-of-the-art driver assistance technology, further bolstered for 2023,” the company said in a press release. “Included are Forward Collision Warning with Automatic Emergency Braking (Front Assist) with pedestrian and (new for 2023) cyclist detection, Active Blind Spot Monitor (Side Assist), front and rear Park Distance Control, and High Beam Control (Light Assist). Furthermore, the advanced IQ.DRIVE® driver assistance suite is standard on every ID.4 model, featuring Travel Assist 2.0 with adaptive cruise control, Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist), Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Traffic Sign Recognition, and Emergency Assist 3.0. New for 2023, ID.4 adds Park Assist Plus with Memory Parking and driver-initiated lane change functionality as an enhancement of Travel Assist.”
While all of these options are available, they won’t all come on the lowest-spec models.
A new 62 kWh battery has been added to the ID.4 Standard, allowing for a more affordable starting price and a predicted range of 208 miles based on an EPA test cycle. The rear wheels are powered by a single, permanent magnet synchronous motor that produces 201 horsepower. The ID.4 Pro retains the same 92-kWh battery as before, allowing for a predicted range of 275 miles, while the ID.4 AWD Pro models add an asynchronous motor to the front axle, raising horsepower to 295 and increasing distance EPA-estimated range is 255 miles). The ID.4 has now been updated with Plug&Charge compatibility, allowing customers to make even more use of their three years’ worth of free 30-minute DC fast charging sessions at Electrify America stations.
For the 2023 model year, every ID.4 will get modest but purposeful styling modifications, including gloss black highlights on the front bumpers and a illuminated rear VW emblem on S models that already came with the exterior premium lighting package, which comes equipped with premium LED headlights with the Adaptive Front-lighting System and an illuminated lightline and front VW emblem. Three new wheel designs are available, along with eight distinct paint choices that can be chosen depending on trim.
The ID.4 now has a conventional 12-inch instrument cluster on the inside. For 2023, each model appears to be more opulent. The basic cloth upholstery of the preceding version is replaced by stitching and luxurious mélange fabric and leatherette seat side bolsters on Standard trims. This trim comes standard with two new interior colors: Stone or Nutmeg. Vehicles in the Stone colorway have black and gray accents, while those in the Nutmeg hue feature attractive brown tones.
On all S variants, two new premium leatherette interiors provide an air of opulence, and the choice between Galaxy or Cosmic paint finishes is available. A black leatherette seat insert with Platinum gray bolster, door inserts, and dash accents complete the Galaxy look. The Cosmic interior is characterized by gray leatherette seat inserts, blue bolster accents, and a white steering wheel with displays. The door panels get enhanced stitching to give the car a more elegant appearance, and there’s also a new center console that better serves American buyers’ demands. Heated outboard rear seats are now available on the top S Plus trim.
Full details on what each trim level will have can be found at Volkswagen’s website or at its press release here. ID.4s for sale in the United States are now assembled in the US at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga factory, the result of a further $800 million investment in the State of Tennessee.
Why This Matters
The price parity of EVs with gas-powered cars alone isn’t the whole story. The cost of new and used cars may have a detrimental influence on the near and long-term prospects of electric vehicles, especially in nations and communities where salaries are low.
While inflation has made a mess of both the new and used car markets, The cost of living is only going to go up, and employers will have to start raising pay in order to keep families from looking for alternative work. but it’s clear that the price of everything from food to gasoline to automobiles is far outpacing any gains individuals are making in salaries at this time.
If these pricing levels are permanent, I believe they will stay. It will hurt individuals, especially those in impoverished areas and states. If a person at the bottom of the economic totem pole can’t afford anything other than a used compliance vehicle, EVs won’t be an option for them. Frugal people of all income levels would not waste time with costly vehicles since they are not interested in doing so.
But, price reductions like we’re seeing here from Volkswagen and also recently with the 2023 GM Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, is how we’re seeing companies respond. They can’t lower prices of vehicles spec’d out like their higher-tier offerings, but they’re offering smaller battery packs or older technology to buyers who can’t afford so much car, or don’t want to pay that much for a car.
Combine this with prospects of a renewed tax credit that could be available as a point-of-sale rebate from the dealer, and we could start having some seriously affordable EV prices in the next year or so. That would be great news for overall EV adoption, as it would let everyone participate in the EV revolution.
Featured image: 2023 Volkswagen ID.4. Image provided by Volkswagen.
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