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Why VW expects a big jolt from its brand new EV

Adam Shapiro
·Anchor
·3 min read
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Volkswagen began delivering its first all electric SUV to buyers Monday and VW of America President and CEO Scott Keogh tells Yahoo Finance Live the ID.4 electric SUV is a game changer. "It's competing against the massive internal combustion engine market so that's what we're looking to do and I think we have the chance of a lifetime ahead of us."

Volkswagen sold 422,000 electric and hybrid vehicles globally last year. But the ID.4, built on the brands electric MEB platform is the same vehicle sold in China, Europe and North America, Keogh calls it an entry-level SUV. It seats five and will compete against Toyota's RAV4, Honda's HR-V and Tesla's all electric Model Y.

"You're going to see a wave of electric vehicles coming across the globe and certainly here in America," Keogh says. While General Motors plans to produce only electric vehicles by 2035, VW has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 although Keogh says the EV revolution will accelerate quickly.

"Europe is probably going to be about 70% EVs within 10 years. I'd say China probably around 50% and I think the U.S. would be closer to 30%, 40% or somewhere in there," says Keogh who calls the global transition to EV a massive adoption of the new technology.

Base price $39,995

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - JANUARY 19: A man tests the new touchscreen inside the new all-electric Volkswagen ID.4 that is on display inside a dealership on January 19, 2021 in Thousand Oaks, California. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
THOUSAND OAKS, CA - JANUARY 19: A man tests the new touchscreen inside the new all-electric Volkswagen ID.4 that is on display inside a dealership on January 19, 2021 in Thousand Oaks, California. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

MSRP for the ID.4 is $39,995 but Keogh points out the federal and state tax credits for purchasing one can lower the cost, over time, to the low $30,000s. Top tier first edition models of the ID.4 (PRO S) start at $44,495 and have an EPA certified 250-mile range. All wheel drive versions of the Pro S will go on sale this summer starting at $43,675.

VW is also offering incentives like three years of free charging at Electrify America charging stations nationwide. Prices to charge an EV vary depending on location and time of charge.

"We've been building this massive infrastructure network with Electrify America. It has 800 stations, 3,500 chargers, across the country, it's a high speed network upwards of 150-kilowatt hour charging and that's exactly what it means. You get three years, full charging, entirely covered." Keogh says an ID.4 can achieve 80% charge in 30 minutes.

VW will build the ID.4 at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but a worldwide shortage of micro chips is forcing car manufacturers to delay production. "So far, and through the summer, we've been okay, we haven't had to cut production, we've had a modified production maybe going from three shifts to two and a half shift. But I think we've been able to navigate and the truth is, we're going to put the chips in the cars where we have good margin, we're going to put the chips in the cars where we have less supply," Keogh says.

He wouldn't share VW's sales targets or production figures for the ID.4 but says this is the year EVs will capture a larger share of the U.S. market. "This is the year where you have a full year of the Model Y, a full year of the Ford Mach-E and our car joining the marketplace," says Keogh , who estimates EVs will capture 5% of all sales.

"This is really the year of electric and I think it's coming without a doubt," Keogh says.

Adam Shapiro is co-anchor of Yahoo Finance Live 3pm to 5pm. Follow him on Twitter @Ajshaps

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