Volkswagen’s electric ID. vehicles will have their maximum charge rate increased “in the near future” via a new software update.
2022 model year editions of the ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5 will leave the factory with a software upgrade that increases the charging rate from 125 kW to 135 kW. The newly released ID.5 GTX meanwhile gets a further hike to 150 kW.
Though a small increase on the surface, this nevertheless shaves public charging times from 5 per cent to 80 per cent by up to nine minutes. This applies only to the models equipped with a 77 kWh battery.
The new software also introduces a Battery Care Mode, which allows owners to automatically stop charging when the battery is at 80 per cent capacity, a move it is hoped will extend the lifespan of the battery packs.
Furthermore, information on the charging menu – now available on the top level of each ID.’s large touch display – has been restructured “in a more informative and clearer way” following feedback from users. The accompanying Online Route Calculation in the satnav has also received an upgrade that plots long journeys more efficiently than before: using data such as charging station capacity and occupancy level for example, the Calculation could plot a route that features two, higher-power charging points as opposed to one lower-power port if the former is considered a faster alternative.
Existing ID.3 and ID.4 owners can also make use of this new software via an over-the-air update, set to be “rolled out gradually.”
Increased charging rates for the ID models were just one of a broader range of charging solutions announced by Volkswagen. Among them is a new authentication process in Europe called ‘Plug & Charge’, an encrypted program that allows public charging to begin as soon as the charging cable is plugged in, as opposed to waiting for verification.
Perhaps the most notable however is a new bi-directional approach to home charging, which essentially allows the EV to feed power back into the grid and/or power the home under exceptional circumstances. This will be an option solely for 77 kWh models, and will only be applicable to users that have the requisite Home Energy Management System (HEMS) installed.
The initiatives are set to be rolled out “in the future”, though no timeframe has been outlined.
These new upgrades form part of Volkswagen’s goal for complete electrification of its new vehicle fleet, with at least one electric vehicle expected to be launched every year. In Europe, 70 per cent of VW’s sales are targeted to come from fully electric vehicles by 2030. Electric vehicles (VW refrain from using the word ‘fully’ here) are also expected to make up 50 per cent of the company’s sales for North America and China ahead of the same deadline.