BY H. THROTTLE
My first adventure and introduction to an all-electric vehicle occurred this week with the arrival of Volkswagen’s 2021 ID.4 EV.
It took me ten minutes to learn how to start the VW and another few minutes to manipulate the electronic shift knob. Fortunately, the factory representative left an embossed instruction double-sided sheet with photos on how to start and turn off the ID.4.
Pressing the brake pedal was the key to starting and turning off this $50,870 suggested price vehicle. Once the brake pedal was depressed the electric drive system was activated.
While driving the all-electric vehicle I had to read the sheet on how to activate the “Classic Climate” system that heated the seats and the steering wheel. I never got so far to follow the manual in asking the car with the suggested pro-tip, “Hello ID” while the vehicle was traveling to ask for adjusted temperature, fans speed, and other functions. I turned on the front defrost control that quickly cleared the frost from the windshield and heated the cabin.
The charged battery system was good for 240 miles and I traveled around 150 miles during the test drive. I never charged the batteries that appear to take 7.5 hours for a recharge. The electric fuel economy was rated at 93 MPGe with an estimated annual fuel saving of $4000; probably much higher now with higher gasoline prices.
The all-wheel drive ID.4 is an attractive “Dusk Blue” with a “Lunar Gray” leatherette interior. The solid doors open with special handles that open to the attractive high-tech interior. The car has a one-speed automatic transmission that controls the all-wheel drive. That is really all that is needed because this electric model almost flies with thrilling acceleration from the Lithium battery packs and duel electric motors. The car runs on 19” alloy wheels with all-season tires with four-wheel independent suspension.
Loaded with the latest electronic instruments, there is nothing that this VW doesn’t have in technology and safety features. The car is assembled in Mosel, Germany with German twin electric motors and transmission, and 41 percent of the electronic components from China. The high voltage battery pack has an eight year/100,000-mile warranty, whichever comes first.
Summing up the driving experience— the driving components become very easy with practice. The 240-mile charge package is efficient for commuters and careful route planning between battery charging will eliminate any gasoline usage.
What is most exciting about driving the car is the instant surge of power with no hesitation and reaching high speeds very quickly. It is a smooth drive, no need to shift, with an assortment of winter weather systems that make this a good car in Colorado temperatures.
About enough electric juice to make it to Vail and back.