VW ID. models to get faster charging and bidirectional charging

Having accelerated its push into electrification, the Volkswagen Group is already unlocking more technologies for its ID. range as well as investing in further green energy options and second-life battery infrastructure. Said Elke Temme, CEO of the Group-owned charging and energy business Elli, “Our goal is to ensure that an electric vehicle is capable of being a customer’s primary car – without any compromises. That is why we are building a complete charging eco-system, with residential charging solutions and a rapid expansion of the fast-charging infrastructure required for mobile charging, as well as competent advice, comprehensive charging tariffs and the right fleet solutions for business customers.”

The automaker says all ID. models with the 77-kWh battery are going to be able to charge bidirectionally — accepting energy from a source, and charging a separate energy storage system like a wallbox plugged into a home energy system. That capability will come via an OTA update. VW will sell special bidirectional DC wallboxes for home use. Another software revision and OTA update will increase the charging capacity of the 77-kWh ID. battery from 125 kW to 135 Kw for standard models, and up to 150 kW for the racier ID.5 GTX. We’re told the boost cuts charging times by up to nine minutes when charging from 5% to 80%. There will also be a new Battery Care Mode that caps battery charge at 80%; VW didn’t say if this would be an owner-selected mode, or a fixed setting in the car.

Speaking of owner settings, UX designers have tweaked the charging menu layout to be “structured in a more informative and clearer way.” Beyond that, the navigation’s Online Route Calculation will do the math to figure out how to reach a destination in the shortest time when factoring for charging times and the desired level of charge at the destination. This could create a route that isn’t the shortest distance, but that will ultimately cut the route time by including faster charging stations.  

VW didn’t provide a timeline for all of this more specific than “in the future.” When the upgrades do come, European owners will receive them first, but we expect they’ll make it across the Atlantic after that.

Around Europe, the automaker plans for its EV owners signed up to a We Charge contract to have access to an additional 18,000 fast charging stations on top of the 270,000 public stations that are part of VW’s partner networks. A further 35,000 retail charging points are planned. A Plug & Charge feature aims to eliminate the needs for physical cards, with secure communication between the charging cord and vehicle charging port authenticating the administrative details as soon as the cord is plugged in. 

VW also wants more green power, with plans to build 20 new wind and solar farms around Europe by 2025 producing as much as seven terawatt-hours of electricity, as well as energy management and storage solutions to keep the green energy from going to waste. The company said that in Germany in 2019, 6,500 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy went to waste, enough to power 2.7 million electric cars for a year.

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