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Volkswagen’s new ID.4 electric SUV is less expensive than Tesla’s Model Y

September 23, 2020

By Shahibul Islam

Volkswagen is taking on Tesla’s Model Y. 

The company revealed the ID.4, its first electric SUV available in the U.S., on Wednesday. It starts at $39,995, while Tesla’s Model Y starts at $49,990.

The ID.3, a smaller hatchback, came out in Europe earlier this month. 

During a media preview, VW executives compared the five-seater ID.4 to the original Beetle because it’s compact and efficient. The electric motor is located in the back of the vehicle, while the 82-kWh battery rests along the base in a “skateboard” layout. 

During the global reveal on YouTube, Volkswagen USA CEO Scott Keogh said the ID.4 was, “The most important launch since the Beetle.” 

The car has a 250-mile range on a single charge. Compared to Tesla and other large EVs, this is pretty low, but that’s how you get that low price tag. An all-wheel drive version with two motors will be available next year. The SUV can tow up to 2,700 pounds. 

Back it up.

Back it up.

Volkswagen offered ID.4 owners three years of free charging through the VW-owned Electrify America public charging network. Normally, charging rates are based on how much energy or time you spend charging. With fast-charging, the ID.4 gets to 80 percent full in under 40 minutes. As of earlier this year, Tesla has more or less dropped its free Supercharging program.

Inside, voice and gesture controls help drivers keep their hands off the 10-inch center touchscreen. Behind the wheel is a smaller 5.3-inch screen with road and vehicle information. Advanced driving features like autonomous braking and lane centering are included as part of the IQ.Drive system. The lighting inside the car includes a strip below the windshield that turns red for automatic braking and notifies the driver about upcoming turns.

An inside look.

An inside look.

The pricing for VW’s first electric SUV is only supposed to get better. Once the ID.4 starts production in VW’s Chattanooga, Tenn., car plant in 2022 the price will drop to $35,000. Federal and local tax credits are also available for the electric vehicle. 

For those who want the top of the line, the “1st Edition” version is available for $43,995. That includes a glass panoramic roof, larger 12-inch touchscreen, and the “Gradient” package with 20-inch wheels instead of the standard 19-inch ones. 

Then there’s the fun part, picking from six color options: Glacier White Metallic, Mythos Black Metallic, Moonstone Grey (the only non-metallic choice), Scale Silver Metallic, Blue Dusk Metallic, and King’s Red Metallic. 

Reservations opened online Wednesday with a $100 deposit. The car is expected to arrive in early 2021. 

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By Shahibul Islam

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