Volkswagen Starts Production of the Electric ID.4 SUV in Tennessee, Presents New Competition for Tesla, GM and Ford
Volkswagen is now building electric vehicles for the first time ever in the United States. The automaker announced that it started production of the ID.4 electric SUV at its revamped factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The ID.4 is Volkswagen's most popular electric model with deliveries of 190,000 units since its launch in 2021.
The U.S.-built ID.4 has the potential to become a big seller for VW, as the SUV and crossover segment is one of the most popular in the U.S. The first customer deliveries of the ID.4 will begin as early as October.
Volkswagen aims to ramp up ID.4 production in Chattanooga to 7,000 vehicles a month later this year, with plans to increase output throughout 2023. The factory will be the company's North American center for electric vehicle production.
"We're just starting to write a new chapter for Volkswagen in America, and it is very much an American story," said Thomas Schäfer, Chairman of the global Volkswagen brand. "When we promised to bring Volkswagen EVs to the millions, it always included American workers building those EVs right there in Chattanooga. We couldn't be prouder to see that vision realized today with our ID.4 electric flagship rolling off the lines. This is another milestone in Volkswagen's ambitious electrification strategy for the U.S. market and globally."
Initially the ID.4 built in Tennessee will be offered in either rear-wheel- or all-wheel-drive and will come equipped with a 82kWh battery pack. However, a more affordable rear-wheel-drive version of the ID.4 with a 62kWh battery will go into production later in 2022.
The EV has a starting MSRP of $41,230 for the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro. EPA estimated range of the ID.4 Pro is 275 miles. With its more affordable price tag, the ID.4 is being marketed as more of a mainstream EV, with roughly the same performance of a similar gas-powered model.
All-wheel-drive ID.4 models equipped with the 82 kWh battery have 295 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque.
In addition, all ID.4 customers receive 3 years of free charging from Electrify America, which was established in 2016 and now operates the nation's largest open DC fast charging network.
At a public DC fast-charging station with a charging rate of 125 kW, the ID.4 can charge to 80% in roughly 38 minutes.
The Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV.
The electric ID.4 is also eligible for the federal EV tax credit of $7,500, which is no longer available to rivals Tesla and General Motors, both of which reached the 200,000 vehicle cap to qualify for the tax credit.
Volkswagen began expanding its Tennessee assembly plant in 2020 to produce electric vehicles. The site includes a state-of-the-art high-voltage laboratory designed to develop and test electric vehicle cells and battery packs for upcoming battery-powered models assembled in the U.S.
The Chattanooga assembly plant also includes production lines for both battery cell and battery packs that will be installed in the ID.4 and future EVs from Volkswagen.
Volkswagen announced that its suppliers have invested $2.7 billion throughout North America to build EVs, including the automaker's battery partnership with SK Innovation.
"There has been a tremendous effort by thousands of VW Chattanooga employees to bring this vision to life," said Chris Glover, President and CEO, Volkswagen Chattanooga Operations, LLC. "I'd like to thank all our highly motivated team members and the extended community of Chattanooga for supporting us as we begin assembly of the ID.4 for the North American market."
Volkswagen committed $7.1 billion over the next five years in North America to launch new electric models through 2030, which includes adding additional R&D and manufacturing capabilities.
Following the ID.4, Volkswagen is launching the electric ID Aero fastback sedan and ID. Buzz microbus in 2024. The automaker will also start production of new electric SUVs in Tennessee starting in 2026.
Volkswagen aims for 55% of U.S. sales to be fully electric vehicles by 2030.
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