Why the VW ID 4 is the firm’s first truly mainstream EV

The ID 3 landed first, but SUV popularity should make the larger electric Volkswagen even more popular

The Volkswagen Group is in the early stages of a barely comprehensible rollout of electric cars, with 75 models due by the end of the decade, ranging from high-spec sports cars such as the Porsche Taycan to reworked city cars like the e-Up. But none will be bigger than the ID 4.

The ID 3 hatch had the honour of launching VW’s ID range, Skoda’s Enyaq iV will be the first SUV on the pivotal MEB platform and the Taycan is the performance flagship, but the ID 4 is the VW Group’s first bespoke EV truly intended as a mass-market global car.

Why? It fits perfectly in the most popular car market segment of the moment. Heck, just look at the sheer number of EVs trying to push into the mainstream crossover market, such as the Hyundai Kona EV, the Peugeot e-2008 and the MG 5 EV and, of course, the Tesla Model Y.

So how does VW intend to compete in that rapidly growing market? Simple: scale. It’s going to make a lot of ID 4s, with production plans that span five factories across three continents. As a result, the firm’s huge sales targets for the machine – around half a million in the next five years – seem entirely realistic, regardless of the stiff competition it will face.

In a way, the ID 4 is the electric motoring equivalent of a major film franchise sequel: it takes what has come before it and ramps up the scale with the goal of producing a mega-hit. As a result, it might not be the first, the fastest or the most desirable of the VW Group’s avalanche of EVs. It won’t be remembered for creating a new market segment, taking EVs mainstream or pushing the boundaries of technology. But, if VW gets it way, the ID 4 might just be the EV that takes over the world.

James Attwood

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