While the ID.3 was Volkswagens (VW) first dedicated all-electric vehicle, the ID.3 is not rated to tow, unlike the ID.4. The ID.4 is intended to be a global mass-market vehicle for VW, targeting the lucrative and growing market of compact SUVs. During the reveal event seen below VW emphasized the towing capabilities of the ID.4 at up to 2,700 lbs (1,200 kg). However, its unclear if an ID.4 with a 1,200 kg towing capacity will be coming to the UK. Currently, the only version set for the UK is the ID.4 1st with a 1,000 kg towing capacity.
Key VW ID.4 Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 1,000 kg (UK Spec ID.4 1st)
- Availability – 2021
- Price – Starting £42,000 (1st)
- Range (EV Database) – 245 miles (1st)
- Estimated Towing Range (50%) – 123 miles (1st)
- Maximum Charge Rate – 125 kW (Compatible DC Fast Charger)
VW ID.4 HP & Torque
- ID.4 1st – RWD with 201 HP and 229 lb-ft of torque
VW ID.4 Towing Capabilities
At the global reveal event for the ID.4 VW stated the car will be able to tow up to 2,700 lbs (1,200 kg). However, as of right now, the first ID.4 which will be coming to the UK is the car in ‘1st’ trim, which is RWD with a towing capacity of 1,000 kg.
What I find interesting is in the US, the RWD ID.4 doesn’t appear to have any towing capacity at all and only the AWD versions coming in mid-2021 will be given a tow rating. Perhaps once AWD versions of the ID.4 come to the UK they will get the full 2,700 lb (1,200 kg) towing capacity.
Whether we get a UK version of the ID.4 with the full 1,200 kg towing capacity or not it’s good to see that VW has considered the towing capabilities the car can provide. Even with a 1,000 kg towing capacity, it opens up the possibility of towing small cargo trailer to go to the tip/recycling centre or even small camping trailers/teardrop caravans. As you can see below, towing was featured quite prominently in the global reveal event.
So if you weren’t aware, in 2015 VW dropped a boo-boo and got caught up in the Dieselgate debacle, not being entirely honest with test results on the emissions their internal combustion engine cars were producing. I should state, VW were/are not the only car manufacturer to have tried such misleading efforts.
The reason I bring up Dieselgate is really that’s the reason the ID.4 and other MEB platform based VW electric cars (such as the ID.3) are coming onto the market now. Sure, VW like other established automobile manufacturers would have eventually got into the electric car game. Let’s just say that Dieselgate (and regulators) gave them a bit of a push to get going with their EV program sooner rather than later.
Old Habits Die Hard
What did amuse me watching the ID.4 reveal was before VW started to discuss the all-electric ID.4 they spent the time to promote their internal combustion compact SUV Atlas sold in the US with one of their ‘brand ambassadors’. Explaining how great a V6 engined crossover is during the global reveal to tell everyone VW is serious about EV’s just made me laugh.
Don’t get me wrong, VW is now serious about EV’s and they are putting huge amounts of money into EV research/development and manufacturing. It’s just when I watched that promotion of the V6 Atlas, I thought to my self, ‘old habits die hard’.
VW ID.4 Competition (As An Electric Tow Car)
Now, in the reveal event, VW was very keen to point out that the ID.4 is ‘best in class’, making reference to several ICE compact SUVs from Toyota, Honda etc. Furthermore, they made no comparisons/references to any other electric vehicle, and VW has implied the ID.4 is not intended to compete against the Tesla Model Y, a fellow all-electric hatchback which can tow.
VW would state that the ID.4 does not have the range/features of the Tesla Model Y because its a cheaper more affordable car, which is true currently when looking at the ID.4 1st. However, its going to be interesting to see how the price of the more powerful AWD ID.4 compares to the Tesla Model Y.
Tough competition for the ID.4 actually comes from the VW subsidiary brand Skoda. The Enyaq is based on the same MEB platform as the ID.4, however, the Enyaq is notably cheaper for the same capabilities. Therefore, presuming someone isn’t a brand snob towards owning a Skoda, the Enyaq is tough competition for the ID.4.
First Impressions Of The VW ID.4
The video below is from Fully Charged who produce some of the highest quality YouTube content specifically focused on electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies. Chelsea Sexton a contributor to Fully Charged has a long history with EV’s, I’d encourage you to watch Who Killed the Electric Car to understand why. Anyway, Chelsea got to see and importantly drive the VW ID.4 in person and ask questions directly to VW about the car.
The topics brought up in the Fully Charged preview of the ID.4 are what I’ve discussed above. Hence, VW does not intend the ID.4 to be competition for Tesla. For another quick preview of the ID.4 from specifically a UK perspective I’ve included the video below from What Car.
The video above does a good job at quickly running through the details of the upcoming VW ID.4 1st, though take that 323-mile range with a heavy pinch of salt. In ideal conditions, the car may be possible of that, but its not a real-world average of the capabilities of the car. As stated in the video above, a future ‘GTX’ ID.4 is supposed to be coming to the UK in 2021 with AWD. Hence, hopefully, that’s the version which will get the 1,200 kg towing capacity to match the AWD US specification ID.4.
My Thoughts On The VW ID.4…
First off, competition is good, plain and simple. While Tesla may currently lead the game when it comes to electric vehicles, there is a lot that VW can bring to the table to compete. Large scale vehicle manufacturing and quality control are hard things to master as Tesla is now finding out. VW does have the experience to bring electric cars to the masses.
The ID.4 1st (RWD) with its 1,000 kg towing capacity for a predicted £42,000 price tag will be a cheaper option to the upcoming Tesla Model Y Long Range Dual Motor and its 1,500 kg towing capacity at a predicted £54,000. If you only ever want to tow small cargo/camping trailers etc, sure the ID.4 could be a valid option, though most caravan’s will be out of reach.
The biggest test with towing long distances in the ID.4 is going to be a dependence on the availability (and reliability) of the public charging network. Tesla owners have the option to use the Tesla Supercharger network as well as the public charging network. As towing can consume on average double the amount of energy, more frequent charging stops will be required. In the future, I’ll be writing example case study use cases to discuss this more.