Herbert Diess confirmed in a Reddit AMA today that the US-spec ID.4 all-electric crossover will be getting a major over-the-air update this summer. The update will add new features like Plug&Charge and AutoHold, as well as a higher capacity onboard charge capability.
The Volkswagen Group CEO didn’t go much further into details, but reports have been swirling that America’s first modern electric Volkswagen would be gaining Plug&Charge capability soon. The feature allows drivers to simply arrive at a charging station, plug their vehicle in, and walk away, requiring no more input from them in order to start a charging session.
The convenience feature makes things simpler for drivers and allows the EV recharging experience to be more like that of charging a phone. AutoHold, meanwhile, keeps a vehicle from creeping forward or backward when a driver’s foot is off the brake and the vehicle is at a standstill.
Finally, like some other automakers, it seems that Volkswagen will allow its vehicle’s owners to power things with their vehicle thanks to a “higher capacity onboard charge capability.” Hyundai made a big deal of this feature when it revealed the Ioniq 5, with a number of road testers powering microwaves and even a bouncy castle with their test vehicle. The system can also be used to power appliances during a blackout, as Ford has advertised with the F-150 Lightning.
Although reports had discussed some of these features before, their timeline for introduction in the U.S. was not clear until now. In addition to confirming that these features will be available this summer, Diess also spoke briefly about the possibility of an ID. vehicle inspired by the Beetle. Although he was quick to suggest that the company’s focus is on the ID.Buzz, he left the door open for such a new, new, new Beetle.
“Our most emotional car in our history is definitely the micro bus [sic],” Diess wrote. “This was my first priority to bring this icon back to life. But yes, many other emotional cars are possible on our scalable MEB platform.”
The CEO also added that autonomous technology will be the biggest area of research for the automotive industry in the coming years, breaking from his friend Elon Musk in saying that backup sensors (in this case LiDAR) and redundancies are absolutely essential for the safety of the feature.