Last month, two of the electric vehicle experts at Volkswagen set off in a new Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV with the mission to cover 6,700 miles across the United States – from New York to Sacramento, California – highlighting the impressive range of the ID.4 (an EPA-rated 260 miles), easy charging and its ability to go the scenic route on electricity alone.
Dustin Krause, director of e-mobility for Volkswagen of America, and Tod Xelowski, manager of e-mobility customer experience, partnered to drive the ID.4 during the cross-country journey. The pair made many stops along the route, including Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The duo encountered all types of weather on their journey, from rain and snow to sunshine and clear skies. The balance of all-weather capability and handling combined with its spacious interior and technology– like optional seat massagers and standard IQ.Drive technology – made the trip in the ID.4 comfortable and fun from start to finish.1
Krause and Xelowski met with a variety of enthusiasts, including Volkswagen supporters and team members and regional media, during their 18-day journey. Everywhere they went, the ID.4 attracted attention from other VW drivers and fans who were excited to see the all-new EV up close. The most unexpected parts of the trip occurred when taking detours to Savannah, Georgia, and Marfa, Texas, where they took in beautiful landscapes and discovered the cultural history in these locations. To show highlights from each day, they also recorded a daily vlog series, viewable on the Volkswagen USA News YouTube channel.
“We [Volkswagen] brought mobility to the masses with the Beetle, and we want to bring EVs to the masses as well,” Krause said. “Range anxiety is a thing of the past, and this drive is proving that not only is long-distance driving an easy task, but it’s also affordable.”
Along the way, Krause and Xelowski made use of Electrify America’s robust network of charging stations to power their trip, the largest open ultra-fast charging network in the U.S., in addition to charging the vehicle overnight at select hotels.
“Charging was a breeze. We typically stopped to charge about every 200 miles. This worked out to every two and a half to three hours on the road, which felt like the perfect time for a bathroom break, a cup of coffee or lunch,” said Xelowski. “We would normally stop for approximately 25-35 minutes at each location, and many times we realized the car was ready to continue on the trip before we had even finished lunch.”
By eliminating the need for gas, the drive was less costly than the same road trip would have been in a traditional ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle, and because the vehicle produces zero emissions while driving, also more sustainable. “One generous perk we offer to new ID.4 owners is DC fast-charging at no additional cost for three years through Electrify America’s wide-reaching network,” said Xelowski. Like all fully-electric EVs, the ID.4 produces zero direct emissions and supports Volkswagen’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Electrify America is the nation’s largest open DC fast-charging network with more than 600 charging stations and more than 2,600 individual DC fast chargers, including the completion of two cross-country and two coastal routes in 2020, and growing. The network plans to have 800 charging stations and about 3,500 DC fast chargers in development by December 2021.2
“We proved exactly what we set out to do with this drive, which was to show that with a little planning, covering long distances in an EV can be easy,” said Krause. “We met so many people on the road and were able to show off the ID.4 to the U.S., just as deliveries are starting to happen at dealerships. We were impressed by the ID.4’s performance and we’re hoping this trip reiterates that electric vehicles and EV charging networks are ready for everyday SUV owners.”