By on March 12, 2021

2021 Volkswagen ID.4The electric-vehicle revolution keeps chugging along, one small crossover at a time.

Last month, the Ford Mustang Mach-E graced my garage. This week, I got about 48 hours, give or take, in the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4.

The two aren’t really the same, but they are similar – both are crossovers, both are EVs, and both are key early, if not first, steps taken by their respective manufacturers into the world of mass-market EVs.

Ford’s Mach-E trades on the Mustang name and advertises itself as a seriously sporty crossover, while it seems like VW is presenting the ID.4 as more of a common commuter compact.

Like the Mach-E, and just about every EV ever, the ID.4 offers instant torque, because that’s what electric motors do. It doesn’t feel quite as swift as the (larger but lighter, at least with RWD) Mach-E, for the obvious reason that it doesn’t make as much power, but comparisons aside, there’s plenty of punch for merging and passing. I know we all love V8 soundtracks, but the rapid rate of acceleration on hand here has me a bit excited for EV motoring.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

That motor, in this case, is a single electric motor located in the rear, drawing juice from a lithium-ion battery pack. The battery has 82 kWh capacity. A single-speed automatic transmission gets the power (201 horsepower/229 lb-ft of torque) to the rear wheels

ID.4’s freeway ride is acceptably compliant, and it doesn’t come with a sacrifice in terms of handling. The ID.4 was mostly a delight on my favorite stretch of local road, with rapid transitions and quick turn-in to go along with acceptably well-weighted and accurate steering that didn’t feel too artificial. Body roll was the one downside.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the rear-wheel-drive chassis helped, in terms of sporting character. The four-wheel independent suspension surely doesn’t hurt. It’s strut-type upfront, with lower control arms, telescopic dampers, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar. In the rear, it’s multi-link with coil springs, telescopic dampers, and an anti-roll bar. Some suspension parts are aluminum, in a bid to shed pounds.

I left the ID.4 in Sport mode, which is the default, for most of my drive, though a Comfort mode relaxes things on the highway, and there’s also an Eco mode. Drivers can also customize a drive mode.

Other than slightly soft-feeling brakes, I found few nits to pick with the ID.4’s on-road behavior. My critiques fall around the margins, in areas that have little or nothing to do with what kind of powertrain is underhood.

My biggest over-arching complaint is that the ID.4, like many EVs, adopts a design ethos of “weird for the sake of weird.” For example, the shifter is a twist knob on the side of the instrument panel. It’s easy to operate, so no complaint there, but other than aesthetics, why not just use a conventional setup for putting the vehicle into gear?

I also had issues with the haptic-touch buttons on the steering wheel – they didn’t always perform the assigned command, or at least, not quickly. Especially when asking the infotainment system to skip songs. The sliding tiles on the infotainment system worked better and were easy to use, though still a tad slow. If your smartphone has ever experienced a half-second delay opening an app, you’ll understand what I mean.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

“Weird for the sake of weird” may just be how the designers envision the future. On the one hand, I wonder if EV adoption would speed up if some of the controls that drivers use that have nothing to do with EV operation were more familiar. On the other hand, it does bring attention to the vehicle, and maybe some of these ideas are an improvement.

Regardless, maybe VW’s interior designers simply foresee the disappearance of buttons. Just about every control is haptic touch, though most worked better than the ones on the steering wheel.

There’s definitely a bit of a learning curve at play here, though I suspect the average owner will get used to the controls soon enough, and one can always use voice controls to command some functions. Next time I get an ID.4 loan, it will likely be for a full week, and I can spend more time diving through the various functions and menus.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

I do have reservations about the ability of the white interior trim – including the white steering wheel – to remain clean over the long term. The white steering wheel is only installed in 1st Edition trims.

Other nits included the heavy use of hard plastics, especially in the rear. Speaking of the rear, it looked cramped at first glance, but my six-one frame fit comfortably, beer gut and all.

As far as charging goes, I saw more max range than I did with the Mach-E – somewhere in the neighborhood of 240, which is close to the car’s EPA-estimated max of 250 – but the weather was also much warmer. VW promises a full charge in about seven and a half hours from the 11 kW onboard charger or a level 2 public charger. I assume they are talking about a dedicated home charger – it took me around 12 hours to get a fraction of that while plugged into my building’s 110-volt outlets. Which didn’t surprise me.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

VW also claims a five-percent to 80-percent jump in about 38 minutes if you can locate a DC fast charger with 125 kW. The battery itself consists of 288 cells in 12 modules and VW has installed a system that is meant to keep the battery at around 77 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. That would help with output, charging, and battery life.

VW offers an app that can help you monitor charging status or adjust the climate while the car is parked, and while that functionality is nice, I found the FordPass app to be more comprehensive in terms of available information and functions.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

The ID.4 looks spartan inside, but fret not, it has plenty of features. Those features include 20-inch wheels, adaptive LED headlights, LED DRLs, and LED taillights, lights for poor weather, illuminated front light bar, rain-sensing wipers, fixed panoramic glass roof with sunshade, trailer hitch (2,200-lb capacity), 1st Edition badging, roof rails, dual-zone climate controls with second-row vents, heated steering wheel with haptic-touch controls, heated front seats, leatherette seats, 1st Edition trim and white seats/steering wheel, USB ports, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, ambient lighting, wireless cell-phone charger, play and pause symbols on the pedals, digital gauges, navigation, satellite radio, keyless entry, and hands-free power liftgate with remote control.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

Driver-assist features include traffic-sign recognition, rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, front and rear park-distance control, forward-collision warning and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, emergency assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic assist.

There were no options, so with the $1,195 destination fee, the $43,995 price totals out at $45,190.

MPGe is listed at 104 city/89 highway/97 combined. Three years of free fast charging is provided via Electrify America, but one can still choose to pay for charging from other providers, if so inclined.

The ID.4 isn’t getting the kind of buzz that the Mach-E is, probably because it hasn’t attached itself to a model name with iconic history. Still, at least one dude thumbs-upped me on the highway (he was driving a Chrysler 300, so chew on that). I suspect it wasn’t my devastating good looks that got his attention, and I hadn’t made any maneuvers that would get me a sarcastic gesture.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4

Buzz or not, the ID.4 is another piece of the puzzle as we build toward a greater market share for EVs. It still faces the same big challenges most EVs do – short range as compared to a gas engine, lack of charging infrastructure, and a high sticker price – but for buyers willing to deal with those obstacles, it’s a pleasantly competent, if quirky, package.

Minor nitpicks annoy, but the on-road dynamics delight. That sentence could apply to many VW models.

In this case, it applies to a Volkswagen that shows a glimpse of an electric future.

A future that is getting here in fits and starts.

[Images © 2021 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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75 Comments on “2021 Volkswagen ID.4 First Drive – The Future Comes in Baby Steps...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    The range is a little light and the interior is still too screen dependent but it has actual door handles!!!

    I also hope that white steering wheel is only an optional thing.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Mr. Healey, Since you get to test lots more cars than I ever will I have a question. How would this EV compare to something like a RAV4 hybrid or CRV hybrid in terms of passenger / cargo space, cost to purchase and operate, etc. based on your experience with those vehicles and this one? Thanks

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Good effort by VW. (Not a great effort.)

    Will anyone sell me an EV with conventional switchgear and gauges? (Probably not.)

    What is going on under the hood? (Everything, all at once. VW still works in silos?) [That shock tower ‘brace’ (‘spring?’) really makes you think.]

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Will anyone sell me an EV with conventional switchgear and gauges? (Probably not.)”

      I would think if these things ever took off there may be an aftermarket option developed by someone… if.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Maybe you can get Francis Ford Coppola to sell you the EV1 he still has, but barring that, you are SOL.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Coppola has an EV1? I thought those were all crushed?

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Yeah. I believe GM bricked it via software, but he kept it. I guess when you have Godfather money you can do it. Leno did a feature on Coppola’s Tucker and showed it. There was another one in a parking garage by Georgia Tech up until recently. I assume it was similarly bricked. Supposedly the university got it for some project that never happened.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I would think “Godfather” money could unbrick it too.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        @28, I may eventually cobble together something on my own (starting with a properly crash-engineered body but substituting EV drive components [or someone’s ‘skateboard’]).

        (Don’t tell my spouse.)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Start with a 200 Series Volvo:

          https://cleantechnica.com/2021/01/21/electric-car-conversion-classic-volvo-240-gl/

          My mentor in college about 2000 told me he wanted to build an EV from a Lincoln Mark VII (he being a Fox body aficionado and retired mechanical engineer). Not sure if he ever followed up on it, my guess was not.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Depends on what you mean by “conventional”. In one sense, no car today has ‘conventional’ controls.

      My 19 Ioniq EV has a lot of them (IMO), which is one reason I got it. But it’s not competitive for range.

      https://cdn.carbuzz.com/gallery-images/2019-hyundai-ioniq-electric-dashboard-layout-right-view-carbuzz-344108.jpg

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    In the future I see myself making my own gasoline to keep my V8 car running.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Worked in Escape from New York.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        …cue the disco music, which means the Duke of New York is rolling in the chandeliered Sedan deVille…

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “You’re the Duke!”

          youtube.com/watch?v=mfotQ1YQrvk

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Yes, that film was shot in the downtown of my hometown, St. Louis, and in 1980 that area was a total hole and a dead ringer for a bombed-out, post-apocalyptic New York City. The scenes in the Duke’s rail car and the “boxing” scene were shot in Union Station, which was basically abandoned at the time. The guy Snake fought was Ox Baker, who was a fixture on a local wrestling show.

            That area was so bad at the time that if the crew had stumbled a dozen blocks or so north of the location shoots, they’d have needed Snake Plissken for real. It’s somewhat better today.

            And the one of the last “thanks to” items on the credits was to P.T.’s in Sauget, Illinois – a strip club. Clearly Snake liked lap dances.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Clearly Snake liked lap dances.”

            The name’s Plissken.

            I didn’t know that about the filming, thanks for contributing.

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      Petroleum is not going extinct unless legislated extinct.
      Synthetic and bio gasoline replacement fuels will power combustion engines for the next 1000 years I’d imagine.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The end goal certainly seems to be eliminate the ICE for the masses, not sure if it includes petroleum as a whole or not.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          It’s going to be geographically based. You’ll see ICEs banned altogether from central cities (which IMO will be very welcome there), but probably not other places. But it will eventually be cheaper and more convenient to operate EVs in most usage scenarios. ICEs will be for diehards and people in remote rural areas.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        It’s a two pronged attack.
        Scarcity and taxation to raise the price of petroleum.
        Subsidies for electric.
        I think by 2025 buying electric will be the obviously more economical route and by 2030 almost the only feasible choice for most commoners.

        Stuff like my 67 Camaro and ancient pickup truck will still be OK for minimal usage.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Scarcity as a function of a the market, as much as it sucks, is acceptable to me. Taxation is economic destruction and ***should not be used to further political aspirations*** but of course that is what statists do with it. Likely they are planning a low energy future for 90% of the populace while being above the greenie dogma themselves. Unless a lot of electric supply is brought online, or a lot of demand taken offline, there isn’t going to be enough electricity for their EV vision plus everything now. Natural gas powers 38% of all electricity in 2019, the reason being it de facto replaced coal and was “cheap” because of all of the fracking. Who wants to curb fracking? The statists of course! While I will not discuss the merits or demerits thereof a reduction in fracking leads to a reduction in natural gas availability. Guess what! When we vilified coal that’s what we switched too, then they will tighten the screws on it too *when its 38% of supply*. Genius! New nuclear projects are nearly non existent and while yes we can add some renewables it will not be in the numbers necessary to replace retiring nuclear plants, natural gas becoming more expensive, and adding more supply for EV and other future electric appliances. Quite obvious when you think about it, but you “voted” or more aptly -supported- it Amerika.

          “Natural gas was the largest source—about 38%—of U.S. electricity generation in 2019.”

          https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-in-the-us.php

          “The court decided that the Federal Government had the right and power to set up a Federal bank and that states did not have the power to tax the Federal Government. Marshall ruled in favor of the Federal Government and concluded, “the power to tax involves the power to destroy.””

          https://www.ourdocuments.gov/print_friendly.php?flash=false&page=&doc=21&title=McCulloch+v.+Maryland+%281819%29

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            28-Cars-Later,

            The only obvious fix for that dilemma is to reduce population. I’m sure the dark shadowy ones are quite cognizant of this. But, to suggest such a thing is invite being called a “conspiracy theorist” — after all we know the rich and powerful have rarely conspired in human history.:-)

            But, with Dr Seuss and Dumbo out of the way, all things are possible.

      • 0 avatar

        The Future. In the Future ICE vehicles will be useless because all vehicles will drive very fast and highways will be specially equipped to allow that. Needless to say that human drivers will not be allowed on regular roads because humans are slow, very slow. Chemical brains are slow, cannot run along with silicon brains.

        Yeah, so in the Future you can drive ICE vehicle, but somewhere in the desert and you will have to deliver you car there somehow. No one will allow you to drive on regular roads killing someone in the process.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      How long are you planning to live?
      It’ll take some time beyond 2035 for fuel stations to become scarce and beyond that I think boats and RVs will keep gasoline in existence due to their longer service life. I actually don’t think I’ll be above ground by the day marinas stop selling fuel.
      However even in the very distant future I think hobbyists will be able to order Ye Olde 93 Octane through Amazon or whatever exists by then.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    I’m a little confused by the sentence “That motor, in this case, is an 82 kWh single-electric motor, with a lithium-ion battery pack.” The sentence indicates you’re describing the motor, but “kWh” is a measure of energy, not power, so it would seem to be describing the battery’s capacity. Also, 82 kW would be a pretty weak motor for an electric car weighing well over 2 tons.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Looks like a BMW X2, which isn’t a bad thing, and it looks like it’s got good space in front and back seats.

    Looking forward to version 2.

    And will someone please tell VW that haptic controls aren’t as good as physical buttons? They really need to think about non-autonomous driving. Using haptic controls are distracting. These are cool on the dealer lot, but a pain in the tuckus everyday. Please….. buttons.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    Heavy, tippy, buggy, laggy, ugly, plasticky, pricey. Pass.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Same price as a Model Y buy 75 fewer horsepower?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Not exactly.

      This ID4 is the First Edition, so ~$45k. A ‘regular’ ID4 starts at $40k, but can easily be run up close to $50k if you get AWD and other trimmings.

      A Model Y equipped similar to this First Edition ID4 is about $53k, including the tow hitch, blue paint, and white interior.

      So I guess you could equip and price them very close together, or very far apart. On paper, the Model Y has a substantial edge in range and acceleration.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      You will also get federal tax credit if you buy early. That is a significant amount of cash I believe, like $5000-$7000 or something.

      I too was perplexed by the choice of a white steering wheel. Will look horrible in a month or so. Humans are greasy.

      I will also say, that I will likely buy an electric vehicle in the next 10 years. Thinking about it now. I need a bump in range though and some reliability data.

      • 0 avatar
        Lichtronamo

        The tax credit for a full EV is $7,500. Plug in hybrids get a smaller tax credit depending on the system output. But the credit is removed as an individual manufacturer’s sales reach certain thresholds.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    White steering wheel? No. In the real world you can’t always wash your hands immediately before stepping into the car. It’s easy enough to keep white seats clean (I have partly white seats in my Bolt) but a steering wheel would stain in short order.

    Other than that, this looks like the sort of mainstream vehicle that dealers will need in order to sell EVs. The question is whether the dealers, facing reduced service revenue, will play ball. Early experience from Chevy and Nissan dealers is not encouraging: you get a few dealers in EV-friendly markets who jump in with both feet, but most dealers actively steer customers toward the gasser with a heavier maintenance schedule.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      True on the dealers. In VW’s case, though, they’ve been very public about going all EV. Dealers who want to stay with the brand will have to play ball.

      But for today, I’m sure a dealer would much rather sell a Tiguan or Atlas than an ID4. Besides, they are cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Just checked – a dealer near me lists an ID4 First Edition with a 201 HP 2.0L OHV engine and black interior. No joke.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    It’s got no suds. An EV driver jumping into one that can’t go 0-60 in under 5 seconds is like an Englishman trying American cider. If you can’t significantly change the dynamics of the car with that right pedal, you’re stuck with something that has no chance to be as fun as even an ICEV.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Prediction: this gets outsold handily by the Mach E.

    If EVs are a revolution, then it’s beginning at the top of the market, where things like style and “cool factor” win. The Mach E has that; this is a commuter-module, and folks interested in that kind of car are going to take a look at this, with its’ after-tax rebate net price of $38,000, and wonder why they wouldn’t buy a fully-loaded CR-V instead, which has AWD and doesn’t have the well known range/charging compromises current EVs have. Same for the that new Bolt CUV.

    Once the tech evolves – which it’s doing pretty rapidly – and the price comes down, and the charging network improves, THEN commuter-modules like this will stand a chance in the marketplace.

    For cars like this to take hold in the “commuter-module” segment, vehicles like the Tesla lineup, the Mach-E, and the upcoming luxury EVS (E-tron GT, Lyriq, etc) have to succeed first. Europe and China might be another story.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    Hey where’s the usual TTAC take on an EV?

    “This POS is useless for my 300 mile off-road commute across Death Valley three times each way just to get to work.”

    “meh. What’s the range towing a 7,000lb boat and at the same time a second 5,000lb trailor with a tractor and three haybales on it?”

    “Most Americans just don’t have access to electricity”…

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    “Driver-assist features include traffic-sign recognition, rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, front and rear park-distance control, forward-collision warning and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, emergency assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic assist.”

    Tim, I understand this was a quick, first-impressions review – and thank you for that. But, as I have requested following other reviews, please tell us which item(s) in the list above can be turned off – and stay off through key cycles.

    I regard this as basic information with all modern vehicles – because the answer is different depending on the vehicle and manufacturer, and has a substantial impact on the driving experience regardless of one’s position on the technology. Here’s hoping the information will be in your follow-up review.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I will keep that in mind going forward. Honestly, I tend to be old-school in my driving and not really use these features much — and many are so commonplace now that they often aren’t worth calling out unless they are really bad/good or notable in some way (usually heavy OEM marketing). I don’t even like using regular cruise control, the kind that has been around since the 80s.

      We’ll try to pay more attention to that suggestion, but be patient if we forget/find it not worth mentioning.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Yes, that would be helpful information. Tim’s longer visit with the car may permit the time to discover all that.

      I was surprised that Sport mode is the default drive setting. This must be a way to make a good impression on a test drive – smart move by VW.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim Healey

        I think you’re partially right, but it also allows them to sort of say the car has a sporting character. They’re not really marketing it that way, but they won’t complain if buyers feel it is sporty.

        And like I said, it’s kinda spry.

  • avatar
    Tim Healey

    I think you’re partially right, but it also allows them to sort of say the car has a sporting character. They’re not really marketing it that way, but they won’t complain if buyers feel it is sporty.

    And like I said, it’s kinda spry.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    The ID Buzz would have been the model to lead with from a pure PR standpoint. But the ID.4 is probably the better day-to-day sales option. I’m most interested to see the ID Space Vizzion in a few years.

    The outside/inside of the ID.4 does look like a protoype, but more so a production car than even a Tesla. The Škoda ENYAQ iV on the same MEB platform looks more conventional. The future forecast by the interior is now as the Mk8 GTI will have almost the the same set up in terms of screens/interfaces. Not sure it is the greatest idea but its where everyone is going. I have to keep a bottle of glass cleaner in my Mk7 GTI as it is.

    Am going to the dealer this month for a 70K service on the GTI and already made arrangements to drive the ID.4 they are getting this week for test drives. But for the Mk8 GTI being possibly one of the last times to buy a new car with a manual transmission, I’d seriously look at a Mach-E or ID Space Vizzion (ID.6).

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    Also, it will be interesting to see when a manufacturer like VW switches over it’s ICE model name to the EV lines (i.e., when does the ID.4 become the Tiguan).

    Hard to see these manufacturers walking away from the brand equity they have built up in these model name. Does anyone really see Honda not making a Civic, Accord, or CRV or Toyota a Camry even if they go all-in on EV.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Thoughts on electrification (stick with me): My snow thrower is around 20 years old; installed a new coil a few years ago and a new carburetor this week. It sees very little use.

    If I didn’t touch it for a year and went to fire it up:
    • The chances are roughly 99.95% that the 120V electric starter motor, switch and cord would work flawlessly.
    • The chances are about 96.2% that it would have good compression.
    • The chances are about 92.3% that it would have good spark.
    • The chances are about 52.7% that the carburetor and fuel system wouldn’t need some work before starting.

    So the fiddly fuel and combustion bits are significantly less ‘reliable’ than the electric motor.

    BUT – if it had any kind of battery, the chances are approximately 0.12% that the battery would be any kind of help after sitting for a year.

    Conclusion:
    Electric motors = uber reliable over time
    ICE components = less
    Batteries = not

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “• The chances are about 52.7% that the carburetor and fuel system wouldn’t need some work before starting.”

      Ethanol and Chinese carburetors are not a good combination. There are some lithium-ion-powered snowblowers are out there, but an older one I tested was fantastic in dry snow, but the second stage motor didn’t seem to be powerful enough for wet slushy snow. I’m really excited that sodium ion batteries have finally left the lab and are in mass production now.

      Lawnmowers are a different story. Lithium battery mowers are awesome. That torque comes in handy in heavy wet grass. My son has one and it’s great. In the winter, you can’t store the battery in subzero temperatures. For a larger lawn, you might need an extra battery.

      Battery-powered string trimmers are a good thing too. Battery-powered hand tools are a good thing too, although I supposed gas-powered impact wrenches were never a thing.

      We’re really becoming a battery-powered society. That’s why there’s so much research money getting poured into the battery industry. Sure, the green-movement has embraced the technology (for now), but beyond that, it’s really nice technology with so many advantages. Also, notice I’m not saying lithium. While it doesn’t have the gravimetric density of lithium today, I think in the future sodium-ion batteries will catch up enough over the next decade to possibly take over. Detroit, with its salt mines, could become the Saudi Arabia of the mid 21st century.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I’ve had hit/miss experiences with electric yard tools. I have an electric leaf blower and electric string trimmer and they are great compared to the gasoline ones I had. I bought an electric power washer and it was so weak in reality compared to its specs that I returned it and I’ve stuck with gasoline there. I’ve generally not been impressed with the Kobalt and EGO electric mowers I’ve tried out. The power was fine (although not amazing) but the overall construction wasn’t even up to an entry-level Lawn Boy.

        Maybe the newer ones are better, but the price for the steel-deck version buys a whole lot of Honda HRX.
        lowes.com/pd/EGO-20-IN-BL-SELF-PROP-MOWR-STEEL-DCK/1003130762

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          I’ve had the ego mower for two summers now and it’s held up well. It was expensive, but a lot of that cost was in the two 5 Ah batteries. The batteries are compatible with all of their tools, so once you have a few batteries you can start buying bare tools. Now the pricing is much more attractive.

          Besides the reliability and low maintenance, I love the lack of noise and fumes. I don’t have a pickup truck, so it’s also nice to not have to fetch fuel and transport it in the car’s interior.

          The mower can be stored upright, taking much less space in the shed compared to a gas mower. The handles on the snow blower fold so it doesn’t take much space either.

          Battery powered yard tools are awesome if your are mowing less than half an acre and your driveway is less than 100ft.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      I agree that an electric motor is more reliable than a carburetor if your duty cycle is as intermittent as a snowblower. That’s why I’ve replaced almost all my small engines with battery powered equipment.

      I disagree that this tells me much about the relative reliability of a modern fuel injected gas engine that sees daily usage.

  • avatar
    Alex Mackinnon

    Tim, you need to work on your reviews for EVs. They’re going to be mainstream and have been here for like 10 years already. Some of these reviews make it sound like you’re seeing a Leaf or the first time in 2010. I noticed that quite a bit with the Mach E.

    Nobody cares about how long it takes to charge on 120V. It’s pretty much the same speed with every car. You might get 4km/h on some bigger ones, or 6km/h smaller ones but unless its a PHEV with small battery the charge time will be days. It’s just not a useful thing to tell most people, because it’s endemic to any car.

    I remember reading a review of the Plug-In Prius a few years ago and the reviewers were amazed by how fast it charged. It was hilarious because it took the same 10ish Amps as every other car on a L1 charger and went the same distance, but it just has a uselessly small battery which for some reason was interpreted as a positive.

    In terms of chargers, for Level 1 and Level 2 the charger is built into the car. It’s an inverter that takes your 120V or 240V AC and turns it into whatever DC voltage the battery needs. All you really need to say is how many amps she can handle and how many hours it takes to fill it up. The part outside the car is basically just a fancy extension cord with some electronics which make sure you don’t get zapped with 240V.

    Level 3 chargers are a different beast. There’s a huge inverter that will push 400 or 800V of DC power straight into the battery bypassing the smaller one in the car. People need to know how fast it can go, and how fast it averages. The batteries need to be nice and toasty to get their peak charge rate, and can only take the peak rate for so long before it slows down. The 10% to 80% charge time is the big number that people look for. That’s the kind of stop you’re going to do on a longer road trip most of the time.

    You should probably try to find a good spot for overnight charging and a nearby high-powered DC charger for future reviews. The charging infrastructure is going to catch up, the focus should probably be on the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      He did say there weren’t any DC chargers near him, but the real charge time is an important part of an EV test. Mfgs love to quote peak charge rates but the average especially in the 50-80% range when things are slowing down from that peak when SOC is only 10-20%

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I mention the slow charging on the 110/120Vs because there are still many people, particularly urbanites, who don’t have access to level II. And because, for now, it’s an issue. At some point, it won’t be. But it does play into the EV experience for some, maybe even many, users, and will until fast chargers are as plentiful as gas stations.

      I do have fast chargers near me, and I used them a bit for the Mach-E. For this car, I didn’t have it long enough, nor did I deplete the battery enough, for it to matter.

      The majority of the review still focused on the car.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        There’s a lot they can do with speeding up quick-charging. One technique that some experimental designs have is the ability to electrically split the pack and charge from multiple ports in parallel. I suspect that Tesla is doing this with the Semi and Porsche might be thinking of doing it with the Taycan. I do it in non-automotive custom builds.

        Let’s say you have a 100kWh battery and a dual-port charger capable of 350kW simultaneously out of each port. The battery pack is electrically split and you charge each half separately in parallel at 350 kW each for a total of 700kW charging rate. Suddenly, you’re a lot closer to ICE fueling times. Maybe an 80% charge on a 100kWh battery in 8 minutes or less. I’ve seen a prototype of the Semi charging port and I think Tesla is doing just that. Porsche has the two ports already on the Taycan and they say it’s for convenience, but, they may be thinking the same thing.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    We will see ICE vehicles for decades even after EVs become dominant. People in rural areas will still be driving ICE trucks and cars and collectors will still have them. Most of us will be in the ground before ICE become completely extinct.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      Thanks for the reality check. So many people with knee-jerk reactions. All these manufacturers saying they will be all electric by 2025 or 2035 I suspect will not make those targets because the market just isn’t there yet for various reasons. They’ll get there when battery technology has improved enough, but more importantly when the infrastructure is there. And infrastructure won’t happen before 2035.

  • avatar

    Some really interesting design decisions here. Not sure if they are in the right direction or not, but will reserve judgement until I can drive one.

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