VW Takes Its New ID.4 on a Cross-Country EV Trip
As soon as the first ID.4s started arriving in the U.S. in mid-March, Volkswagen took one on a cross-country trip, traveling from New York to Sacramento with some stops in the midwest and the south. The 6,700-mile scenic route, much of which took place along the southern edge of the lower 48 states, took 18 days. The leisurely route also saw the electric crossover make 32 stops at Electrify America charging stations, access to which is included free for three years with an ID.4 purchase.
The small team started the tour on the east coast, traveling to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., before continuing on north to Cleveland and Chicago. The ID.4 then traveled south to Nashville and Atlanta, also visiting Savannah and dropping down to Florida to make a stop in Orlando. The tour continued along the major southern highway routes, with the ID.4 pressing on to New Orleans and then to Dallas and Austin. After visiting several cities in Texas, the team continued on to the southwest to Tucson and Phoenix, making a stop at Joshua Tree. The last parts of the trip saw the ID.4 visit Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento.
“We proved exactly what we set out to do with this drive, which was to show that with a little planning, covering long distances in an EV can be easy,” said Dustin Krause, Director of e-Mobility at Volkswagen of America. “We met so many people on the road and were able to show off the ID.4 to the U.S., just as deliveries are starting to happen at dealerships. The ID.4 performed flawlessly and we’re hoping this trip reiterates that electric vehicles and EV charging networks are ready for the masses.”
The team has posted video logs of the trip on VW’s Youtube page.
The trip was as much about demonstrating the coverage of Volkswagen’s Electrify America network of EV chargers as it was about making a cross-country EV journey look relaxed and effortless.
Of course, the 18-day trip largely stayed clear of some notable dead spots in charging station availability, notably in the upper midwest and the western plains, highlighting instead the ease of finding chargers along the southern route. But the reality in 2021 is that an EV journey across the U.S. can now be accomplished with a greater variety of routes than five years ago, and with far less range anxiety.
Who knows—in another five years a similar trip could be done along the northern border, going from Seattle to Spokane to Bozeman and Billings with ease, maybe then up to Bismarck and Fargo before getting to Minneapolis. Thanks to larger battery capacities and a greater number of charging stations, it could happen. At the moment one can get to western Montana from the Pacific Northwest with Electrify America’s network of charging stations, going as far east as Missoula and Butte, but then the route becomes a loop that continues south to Idaho, with a few stations on the way to Boise.
Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota remain notably devoid of EA stations at the moment, as is the eastern half of Montana. A semi-northern cross-country route with EA stations is still available, but it goes through Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa before getting to Chicago.
When it comes to the southern part of the U.S., we count no fewer than three major east-west options (though VW counts them as two), with one going through Colorado and two through New Mexico, with the southernmost option being the one that VW used on this trip. The major accomplishment for EA in the past couple of years has been opening up several cross-country routes for EV owners, offering over 560 stations with over 2400 DC fast-chargers.
Would you take an EV on a cross-country trip, or would you still be nervous about the distances between some station locations? Let us know in the comments below.
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