VW Reaches EV Milestone, but Larger Issues Remain

The next affordable electric VW is not right around the corner.

2023 volkswagen id4
  • VW reports delivering 500,000 EVs from the ID lineup since production began in October 2020.
  • At the moment VW offers just one ID model stateside, out of a total of four in a lineup that includes the ID.3, ID.5, and ID.6, all offered in other markets.
  • The ID. Buzz will arrive in the US market but won't be particularly affordable. The timing for less expensive electric models to be offered stateside remains unclear.

    Volkswagen revealed earlier this week that it has delivered 500,000 EVs from the ID family—a full year earlier than planned—despite ongoing supply chain issues at a number of its plants. The automaker achieved this target since the first ID.3 hatch rolled out of the Zwickau, Germany, plant in October 2020, with ID lineup production having since spread to two other continents.

    The automaker notes that it is on track to offer 10 ID models globally by 2026, but of course not all of them will be offered in North America.

    "Volkswagen will have the broadest portfolio of electric vehicles in the automotive industry: From the entry-level e-car with a target price of under €25,000 to the new flagship Aero B we will have the right offer in every segment," said Imelda Labbé, board member for sales, marketing and after sales at Volkswagen.

    Speaking of that under-€25,000 car, there is no guarantee that it will be offered stateside, and it has been a while since VW has provided more details regarding the project's timeline.

    Wolfsburg's 500,000-EV milestone also comes with a number of asterisks when it concerns North America. At the moment the ID.4 is the sole EV offered by VW, and won't be joined by another model until 2024. So the pace of rollout has not been quick. VW has also kept the least expensive offering from the ID lineup—the ID.3 hatch—out of the US, prioritizing demand in Europe for a vehicle of that segment.

    While there were certainly some defensible business reasons for such a move, it does not change the fact that VW is a one-EV brand at the moment, and will continue to be until the arrival of the ID. Buzz in 2024.

    One could say that VW has not worked in the direction of offering increasingly affordable EVs to Americans, even though the ID.4 is produced here as of just a couple of months ago.

    VW is also struggling to keep up with demand, while still facing the now-familiar supplier issues that have caused persistent bottlenecks since the debut of the ID.3 back in October 2020.

    "We are doing our utmost to deliver the roughly 135,000 ID.s on order to our customers as quickly as possible. However, due to the persistently strained situation as regards the supply of parts, we are repeatedly having to adjust production," Labbe added.

    If there is a bright spot on the horizon for American EV shoppers, aside from the arrival of the long-awaited (but pricey) ID. Buzz in 2024, it's likely to be the Aero sedan, aimed squarely at the Tesla Model 3.

    The ID. Aero was previewed earlier this year in China, intended to arrive there in the second half of 2023, but was said to be headed to Europe and the US at a later date. Hopefully that date won't be too far in the future, as US Volkswagen dealers will soon need something other than the ID.4 to offer buyers, and a Tesla Model 3 competitor has been sorely needed for some time.

    "Our focus is unchanged—we want to make Volkswagen the most desirable brand for sustainable mobility," Labbe added.

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