The VW I.D. Promises 342 Miles of Range and It Could Be a Huge Deal

All Photos Credit: Volkswagen
All Photos Credit: Volkswagen

Carmakers pretty much always overestimate their own figures, but when your company tweets out that its next electric car will cost as much as a normal diesel and get 345 miles of range, that’s still worth hearing.

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Illustration for article titled The VW I.D. Promises 342 Miles of Range and It Could Be a Huge Deal

The car in question is the first of the I.D. series of modern EVs from Volkswagen, the run of cars in which VW tries to let us forget that it shuffled its feet with the disappointing E-Golf for years.

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In any case, Carscoops spotted this news drop from VW board member Jürgen Stackmann:

If you don’t want to do some quick math, 550 km comes out to a hair under 342 miles.

Now, this is an interesting figure to analyze. We have to note that this is VW’s own estimate here, and we have no reason to believe that’s not optimistic. VW pegged this thing at 373 miles of range not all that long ago. Tesla is the only one out here underestimating its range figures.

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Illustration for article titled The VW I.D. Promises 342 Miles of Range and It Could Be a Huge Deal

We also have to note that this is an estimate based on WLTP testing. That’s what’s coming into use outside of the United States, and WLTP range figures are sometimes much higher than EPA ones. For some context, the Tesla Model 3 got a similar WLTP rating of 336-330 mi, depending on configuration. EPA range is down at 310. Since Tesla’s numbers are a little wonky, let’s look at the Jaguar I-Pace. Under WLTP testing, it gets rated at 292 miles, while its EPA rating is just 234. The Chevy Bolt, to be sold as the Opel Ampera-e in Europe, gets almost identical range estimates under both WLTP and EPA testing, though.

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Illustration for article titled The VW I.D. Promises 342 Miles of Range and It Could Be a Huge Deal

In any case, Tesla Model 3-grade range, at VW Golf prices, with a major dealer network supporting it doesn’t seem like a bad thing. The only question remains is that VW isn’t doing anything more than taking orders for this I.D. hatchback through spring of 2019. An actual rollout won’t start until the end of the year, per VW’s timeline. If the car only matches Tesla figures now, what will the EV landscape look like when it finally goes on sale?

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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DISCUSSION

In any case, Tesla Model 3-grade range, at VW Golf prices, with a major dealer network supporting it doesn’t seem like a bad thing.

It doesn’t. But people are fucking dumb and won’t charge their cars and won’t want to venture to the dealer to do so. Especially considering how spread out VW dealers are. They’ll continue to be oblivious to the fact that they need to charge their cars. I just  dealt with a customer yesterday who I sat with on the phone for over 30 mins looking for a charger for his E Golf because he didn’t have one at home and didn’t know where any were in his area. Evs are going to make people more dumb.