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New ID.Software: VW's e-cars charge faster, drive further

The update to ID.Software 3.0 brings more charging power, more range and 9 minutes shorter charging times for all battery sizes. Up to 174 kW are possible.

After many software updates at VW were aimed at eliminating errors, the update to ID.Software 3.0 should provide more charging capacity and functions. All ID models (ID.3, ID4 and ID.5) with the new software version 3.0 should roll off the assembly line as early as week 51. For vehicles with the large 77 kWh battery, this update increases the charging capacity from 125 to 135 kW. The ID.5 GTX even has 150 kW for all customers. "Under ideal conditions, you might read 175 kW charging power at the column, the 135 kW are often experienced by many customers!" promises Silke Bagschik, Head of Sales and Marketing for the e-mobility series at VW. With a later update you could also make more than the 135 and 150 kW possible as standard. "There is still room for improvement!". The large batteries in the ID.3 and ID.4 are thus catching up with the small 45 and 58 kWh batteries. In the middle of the year, these were supplied with a charging power update from 100 to 110 kW or 100 to 120 kW in the workshop. Further updates are planned, when they will come, but the VW people are still open.

Save up to 9 minutes of charging time

Overall, the new charging curve of the 77 kWh battery is now a bit flatter and is at a slightly higher level. That should save at least 9 minutes with a charge from 5 to 80 percent. Instead of 38 minutes, it only takes 29 minutes - which brings the ID models to the level of the Tesla Model 3 with the comparably large 75 kWh battery. However, this does not apply to the GTX variants of the ID.4 and ID.5, whose battery is supplied by another manufacturer. Since the peak charging power of 150 kW is only maintained for a short time, the GTX models only save about 2 minutes with the software update and will therefore need 36 instead of 38 minutes from 5 to 80 percent SOC (state of charge).

In addition to the increased charging capacity, the range has also been increased with the software package 3.0. "50 kilometers more are definitely possible," reports Elke Temme, CEO of Volkswagen Group Charging GmbH. "Even in wintry temperatures." The improvement is not only reserved for new vehicles, cars that have already been delivered should also be equipped with the charging booster. But probably only from March 2022, said a spokesman when asked. Many customer vehicles are currently still on the delivery software version 2.1. By 2025, Volkswagen wants to have its own central operating system (VW.OS) ready. All details can be found in the picture gallery.

Skoda is left out for now

Unlike the MEB platform sisters and brothers, the Skoda Enyaq is currently not getting a charging speed update.The Enyaq iV 60 from model year 2021 is thus still at 50 kW (optionally expandable to 100 kW for 499 euros) and the two models of the Enyaq iV 50 and iV60 from model year 2022/KW 48, which have been produced since the end of November, are coming now 100 kW as standard. The Enyaq iV 80 currently achieves the 125 kW charging capacity that was previously standard at VW. An OTA-capable upgrade option (update over the air) is being worked on for spring 2022, but the exact launch date has not yet been set, explains a Skoda spokesman when asked.

Bidirectional charging via DC

VW also wants to launch bidirectional charging in 2022. Unlike Hyundai with the Ioniq 5, for example, VW relies on bi-di charging based on direct current (DC). Charging currents of up to a maximum of 22 kW are conceivable, explains Bagschik. "But the focus is that we don't want to overstrain the battery." Lower charging currents are therefore the norm. In the long term, VW is also trying to establish itself as a full-service provider and to serve the entire electricity and charging network for drivers at home and on the road via the charging subsidiary Elli. There is currently a corresponding Energy-in-the-Cloud service. In line with this, the manufacturer also wants to offer its own DC wall boxes from 2023, which can feed electricity from the car into the grid. VW did not want to name prices for this yet.,

For homeowners who have already purchased an AC wallbox via the wallbox subsidy that has already expired, this is a bitter pill. Because bidirectional charging based on alternating current cannot and does not want to be supported at VW. This would have required a different, more expensive inverter, which can not only convert the alternating current from the power grid into direct current for the battery, but also the other way round, the direct current back into alternating current. Instead, interested customers who are now buying a DC wall box with the expensive inverter hanging on the wall instead of in the car should get in touch. DC wallboxes currently cost between 4000 and 8000 euros. All in all, however, this is more efficient because the function would not be usable for all drivers anyway, according to the VW experts. However, one counts on economies of scale and thus significant price reductions. That may be the case for VW. Whether this is also the case for customers is another matter.


After the ID models were made fit for over-the-air updates (OTA) with the update to version 2.3 , VW is pushing the update pace as promised. In the future, there will be more charging power and range directly via OTA updates, as is the case with Tesla.


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