2021 brings the release of Volkswagen’s long-promised electric vehicle, the ID.4. It’s a compact SUV, rear-wheel drive (at least the initial run), and will start right around $40,000. But we all know the big question beyond the car specs involves the electric vehicle charging methods.
Switching over to an EV, even from a hybrid, requires a new understanding of fueling your vehicle. Here’s everything you need to know, without the technical jargon.
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VW Electric Vehicle Charging Works Like Most All Others
Car manufacturers want to make your life as easy as possible, especially when adopting the new technology of plugging in your car rather than filling it with gas. So, what’s evolved are three different ways to charge your vehicle. I look at them as balancing ease of accessibility and speed of charge.
Level 1 Charging: 120-volts
For at-home use, there are Level 1 chargers and Level 2 chargers. But the amount of time they take to charge your vehicle varies.
Level 1 is a basic 120-volt plug in – the standard house plug. The same plug you use for a hairdryer or coffee maker. This method will take quite a bit of time. But, it will work.
Level 2 Charging: 240-volts
So, when you own an EV, you’ll want to upgrade to a Level 2 charger for at-home use. These use 240-volt plugs. The same plugs used for appliances like your dishwasher or clothes dryer.
Here’s the thing on the Level 2 chargers. You can buy them with various capabilities, just like you can buy a fast or slower charging cell phone charger. But a typical Level 2 charger will fully charge your ID.4 in about 7.5 hours.
DC Fast Charging
While there are home DC fast chargers, it’s not practical for most people to install. But DC Fast Charging stations are increasingly easier to find in public places.
These juice up your car quickly. In fact, an ID.4 will go from 5% to 80% in roughly 38 minutes.
Electrify America Throughout The US
More than 28,000 public electric vehicle charging stations currently dot United States roadways. And companies are racing to build more, faster-charging stations to help Americans adopt EVs.
VW’s Electrify America has built two cross country routes to facilitate long-distance travel in electric vehicles. It has over 500 fast-charging stations in the United States, with 150 here in California. Plus ID.4 receive 3 years of free, fast charging at any Electrify America station. You can download the app and it will show you where the nearest Electrify America stations are to your location.
Overall, here in Southern California, VW electric vehicle charging will be easy when the ID.4 comes out in 2021. Because SoCal is North America’s green-car-tech epicenter.