Volkswagen’s ID.4 electric SUV is now being built at the German auto plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It’s the company’s first electric vehicle to be built in the United States, and it suggests there’s a more affordable version of the ID.4 on the horizon.
Volkswagen says it plans to increase production at its Chattanooga facility to 7,000 vehicles per month “later this year” with the goal of making more vehicles per month in 2023. The first deliveries to customers are expected in October 2022.
ID.4 is Volkswagen’s most popular electric vehicle, having delivered 190,000 vehicles to customers globally since its launch in 2021. Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, who resigned in September, said in May 2022 that the company was “sold Mainly on electric cars in Europe and the United States’ this year.
Volkswagen said the start of ID.4 production in Chattanooga should help with supply problems. “It has a solid number of reservations for ID.4 currently and local aggregation should help us meet those requests,” a company spokesperson said.
Pricing is another reason why this news is so important. Back when ID.4 was first announced in 2020, the base model’s ID.4 was set to start at $40,000, which later rose to $41,230. The company said it wants the US-made ID.4 to start at $35,000 — or $27,500 with the federal tax credit. Whether this is the case, however, remains unknown. A Volkswagen spokesperson said pricing will be announced soon.
The cheaper ID.4 will have a 62 kWh battery, compared to the more expensive 82 kWh battery versions that will come with either rear wheel or all-wheel drive. The 62 kWh versions will likely have a more restricted range than the larger battery packs, which allow a range of about 250 miles.
Initially, the ID.4 battery pack, which consists of 288 preservative cells in 12 units, was produced by LG Chem in South Korea. But now Volkswagen is using batteries provided by SK Innovation, another South Korean company that recently opened a $2 billion factory near the Volkswagen plant there.
Volkswagen also promotes parts made in other US states, including steel in Alabama and Ohio, interior parts in Indiana and South Carolina, and electronics components in Kentucky and North Carolina. Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant employs more than 4,000 people and is actively hiring more than 1,000 new workers through 2022, which Volkswagen says will help meet high customer demand for the ID.4 and Atlas SUV.