The Volkswagen ID.4 takes twice as long to charge as the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Here’s why – HT Auto | CarTailz

The Volkswagen ID.4 electric crossover takes twice as long to add the same amount of charge as Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 electric crossover.

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Updated on:
11/02/2022 7:43 am

Volkswagen ID.4 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 are similarly priced electric cars, but the ID.4 takes more than double the time to charge to a range of 200 km compared to the Hyundai EV.

Volkswagen’s buggy software has garnered a lot of attention, with product delays grabbing headlines and contributing to the ouster of Herbert Diess as CEO.

The automaker also lags behind the competition in another respect that has flown relatively under the radar: load times.

The VW ID.4 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 are similarly priced vehicles, starting at around $50,000 for their 77 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery versions. But the ID.4 takes more than double the time to charge to 200 kilometers (124 miles) of range, with the two taking 20 minutes and 10 minutes respectively.

One of the engineering choices that put Hyundai at the front of the pack in this regard was the adoption of an 800-volt architecture. This allows its car batteries to draw more power faster by lowering the current, which can be a limiting factor for other vehicles.

With the Porsche Taycan presented in 2019, the Volkswagen Group was the first to bring an 800-volt system onto the market, but decided against further cross-model offerings for at least a few years. This decision, presumably related to cost, may have lacked vision. BloombergNEF’s latest research into ultra-fast charging shows that 24 automakers are adopting 800-volt technology, including incumbents Stellantis, Toyota Motor and General Motors, as well as China’s Nio, Xpeng and BYD.

During VW’s Power Day presentation last year, executives detailed plans to introduce solid-state batteries in certain vehicles after 2025 and said their goal is to offer vehicles that charge from 10% to 80% in 12 minutes. VW’s electric vehicles would need to be charged at significantly higher powers than the current lineup, which would likely lead to the introduction of 800-volt technology.

To be fair to VW, there’s some debate as to whether it makes strategic sense to put this technology in smaller, less luxurious vehicles. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and CTO Drew Baglino questioned that during a conference call in April, saying the benefits of moving the Model 3 and Model Y to 800 volts are limited and the costs are high.

Tesla manages to achieve similar charging performance with 400-volt systems that other vehicles achieve with 800-volt alternatives. However, it’s unclear whether the company can get more out of its 400-volt systems, and Musk and Baglino have said an 800-volt system is being considered for Tesla’s larger semi- and cybertruck models.

As the market for 800-volt components grows and automakers and their suppliers innovate, the cost gap will narrow and 800-volt technology could capture more of the market. Companies such as ZF Friedrichshafen, Schaeffler and Marelli recently introduced 800 volt components.

Hyundai’s willingness to adopt 800-volt technology hasn’t resulted in dominance in the electric vehicle market as the manufacturer failed to meet demand. In the current supply chain climate, rapid acceptance of most EV models is challenging, with buyers having to wait more than a year in some cases. Being able to produce at scale is one of the biggest competitive advantages.

Tesla is way ahead, having been able to deliver about 411,000 Model Ys in Europe, the US and Canada over the last 18 months, compared to around 100,000 VW ID.4 and 56,000 Hyundai Ioniq 5. But even Tesla has been limited in production, with only 18 % of these sales were made in Europe.

Of concern to Volkswagen is that sales of the ID.4 have had to grow longer than the Ioniq 5, but in the first half of this year, with just 5,300 ID4s sold in the US and Canada, they were lower than the Ioniq’s more than 17,200 5s.

Consumer demand for the fastest and coolest things – whether they use them or not – shouldn’t be underestimated. Nor should the number of drivers who will use fast charging more regularly.

While VW may still be vying for charging superiority in its future vehicles, the lack of this technology in its current lineup poses a risk — some consumers will look elsewhere for a battery that charges faster.

Initial Release Date: November 02, 2022 7:43 am IST

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