Scheduled for early Q1 of 2021, Volkswagen’s ID.4 could very well be prepared to be the EV that takes the industry forward, partly because of the tech involved, but mainly because of the business approach.
The ID.4 looks ready to supplant its predecessor, the ID.3, as well as anything Tesla brings to the table, owing to its shape, cost and the way in which VW is selling their upcoming new car to the world. Though the performance of the vehicle is basically adequate and won’t blow any minds, VW’s approach – to sell to regular people, not early adopters – is a massive open goal that Tesla, their biggest rival, is failing hard to achieve right now.
The big approach with the ID.4 appears to be accessibility, popularity and working to sell to those audiences that other EV companies are failing to reach. Women drivers and families with children are too such demographics – only 29% of Model X owners are women, and the average Tesla buyer is a middle-aged man. Meanwhile, Tesla has also failed to appeal greatly to families, as only a third of Tesla buyers have children at home.
The ID.4 is the rebuttal and the counterattack, all in one go. It’s an SUV, one of the most popular car types in the world, and a chassis shape that’s seen as the must-have choice for families with children (i.e., easy space in the back for kids and a few extras, designed to be safe but also with some power under the hood). VW are superb at selling cars to normal people, it’s their bread and butter. Meanwhile, Tesla’s vehicles are all pricey computers on wheels that look downright befuddling to anybody who doesn’t have a Masters in software engineering. It’s certainly not helped by a Which? study that named Tesla as the second most unreliable car manufacturer on the market. Parents tend not to want to put their child in a car described as “unreliable.” It’s a funny quirk they have.
Still, VW’s plans for the ID.4 are certainly ambitious, even with all that in their favour. They’re investing 11 billion into the ID.4 as part of their “Transform 2025+” strategy, and have said that they’re hoping to sell half a billion cars per year by 2024, which is… a lot, to say the least, and the massive effort, resources and need for batteries could prove to be an issue in the future. Batteries in particular are difficult to source in huge numbers owing to some shortages of lithium, but with all that money to work with, they should be fine in that regard.
For more information on the ID.4, its specs, and how it fits into the market, check out Electrohead Ellis’ video for all that and more!