What makes someone choose to purchase an electric vehicle for the first time? We spoke with four new owners of the all-electric Volkswagen ID.4 about what motivated them to make the switch and embrace an electric future.
Erick Freligh, a 50-year business systems analyst in Bothell, Washington, was considering what new Volkswagen to purchase next—in the past, he has owned a 1967 Beetle, 1986 Golf and 2012 CC—when an ad for the ID.4 popped up on his screen. He was instantly intrigued.
“I joined the web announcement on launch day, threw down my deposit for a reservation and decided I would find out what an EV meant by the time it was ready for purchase,” Freligh says, excitedly. “I wanted to get in early on it, because I have a long history with Volkswagen, and the ID.4 looked like it was a serious game changer for the brand.”
After securing his spot, he doubled down on the research and quickly discovered how perfect an EV fit with his needs and lifestyle.
“I tend to keep cars for a long time. I make a serious commitment to them,” Freligh says. “So, seeing the current economic, political and social environment, by the time I was ready for a new car I realized an EV would be the right choice.”
And while Erick isn’t giving up on his affinity for vintage Volkswagens anytime soon, he admits he has become accustomed to EVs–especially the quiet cabin of the ID.4. “I was just blown away,” he says. “I can easily have a conversation with someone else in the passenger’s seat.”
P.K. Shiu, a fintech professional in Lexington, Massachusetts, echoed Freligh’s sentiments. After doing mountains of research and years of wanting to switch to an EV, this was the first car he felt suited both his and his family’s needs. A dad of two, the ID.4 enables him to zip them around town and run family errands easily and efficiently.
“The EV experience is so different, but in a good way,” Shiu says. “It’s been really fun. I’ve basically been looking for excuses to go out and drive the car. Like, ‘Sure honey, I’ll get the milk!’”
For Lisa Dvorak, a 65-year-old retired police officer based out of San Marcos, Texas, the SUV component of the ID.4 was a key factor in her purchasing decision. A hybrid owner for several decades, she wanted more space than a traditional passenger car but wanted the positive environmental impact an electric car offers by producing no direct emissions, so she started poking around the internet for an alternative.
“Once I heard about the ID.4, I was relentless about making a reservation,” Dvorak says. “I stayed for an hour on the site, refreshing my browser until I finally got in and got it.”
The car’s affordable price point, potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500 and the fact it produces no direct emissions were especially appealing to her.1 “When you look at it all together, you think, ‘This is very doable,’” she says.
A former Beetle owner, she loves the car’s embedded applications—like Car-Net and Apple CarPlay® for her compatible devices—and a roomy interior for both everyday activities and road trips.2 “I do a lot of gardening and hauling of mulch, blocks and plants, and I go camping a lot, which requires a lot of gear, and it all fits,” she says.
Dvorak also believes making environmentally conscious decisions, like purchasing an EV with zero direct emissions, could add up in the long run. “We have to get away from such a dependence on petroleum and fossil fuels, and we do that by taking small steps culturally,” she says.
She, and other owners, also pointed out how EVs escaped the recent fuel shortages on the East Coast, and how the ID.4 can provide as much as $3,500 in estimated fuel cost savings over 5 years compared to the average gas vehicle.3 Several of the interviewees have been stopped around town by fellow drivers who are curious or impressed by their wheels.
“I’ve had at least five people walk up to me, including a car salesman, and ask, ‘What is that?’” says Dvorak.
Similarly, for Sam Barak, the time was right for an EV: it was an affordable and fuel savings option for his growing family, suited his more than 100-mile daily work commute and allowed him to experience new technology firsthand.
For the new dad, Atlas owner and early tech adapter, the ID.4 just made sense. “I’m always the first to get the latest cell phone, smartwatch, 3D printer, etc.,” Barak, a 28-year-old engineer in Longwood, Florida, said.
Barak is particularly fond of the “sleek and futuristic exterior,” “instant torque” and comfortable front seats, which feature built-in, four-way massage lumbar and memory in the ID.4. “I’m 6’3”, so having a car that I fit comfortably in was really important to me,” he says.
It can be hard to go back once you go electric. “Now, every time I get into a non-EV, it just feels wrong,” Barak says.