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I like your story on Linkedin and generally agree. The one thing I'm not on board with is higher resale value. As of today, VW is an unknown. Resale values on EV's is usually poor as they depreciate much faster than ICE vehicles, with the exception being Tesla. We all hope that the VW ID3, ID4 and others to come are recognized as high quality, well built, and are well received in the marketplace. As you plan to keep your ID4 ten years and can take advantage of the $7,500 tax credit, CA credit, lower maintenance and fuel charges and 3 years of EA charging, depreciation really isn't much of a concern. I wish us all good luck with our VW ID4's!
 

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I documented my electric vehicle research and selection story on LinkedIn, enjoy!
I am hoping a few of my ICE holdout friends in my network will be inspired or convinced to take the plunge.

Why I am buying a Volkswagen ID.4
Nice article - ticks all the boxes for me too ! I hope the EPA range is at least 280 mark based on the WLTP numbers from VW UK website which say 310 miles - fingers crossed
 

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Very good article Chris! Like I said before, I love the ID 4. After I reserved the 1st Edition, It came to light about the heat pump and some other things like different tires, etc. Also, my climate does get snow, so the AWD came into play. That’s when I started thinking of Tesla. I’m still struggling with my decision though. I have been following the ID for over 2 years and was not familiar with some of the stuff I’ve learned on here. As you know, I’m probably switching to the AWD and that will buy me some time.
Thanks for your input!
 

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2021 ID.4 Reservation
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Yeah, resale value is always a moving target so I don't pay much mind to that item, but otherwise very well reasoned.

Case in point, I just left off my Audi TTS for annual service/state inspection and alas there were a multitude of unsold prior model year new vehicles. Obviously Covid-related and trade resale impacting. Having said that, many dealerships want pre-owned trades as they can charge whatever the market will bear rather then factoring consumer MSRP->invoice insight on a new car.

I like your story on Linkedin and generally agree. The one thing I'm not on board with is higher resale value. As of today, VW is an unknown. Resale values on EV's is usually poor as they depreciate much faster than ICE vehicles, with the exception being Tesla. We all hope that the VW ID3, ID4 and others to come are recognized as high quality, well built, and are well received in the marketplace. As you plan to keep your ID4 ten years and can take advantage of the $7,500 tax credit, CA credit, lower maintenance and fuel charges and 3 years of EA charging, depreciation really isn't much of a concern. I wish us all good luck with our VW ID4's!
 

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Great write up! And I learnt something. I didn't know the VW factory was carbon neutral. That's definitely an added bonus.

Your journey has some resemblance to mine. I'm installing Solar in a few weeks ( while tax credit is still there ) since I also have to replace my roof. An EV at around 45k is what I was looking for as well and could never pull the trigger on the model Y ( for more reasons than the price but price was the biggest reason ). I also tend to keep my cars for a long time so while resale is a concern it's not as big a concern as it would be if I kept a car short term. Another issue is that I owned a Golf and it's the only car that gave me a lot of trouble so that gives me pause but I've owned multiple trouble free Audis. On the other hand I learnt to drive on my dad's 60's beetle in a blue very similar to the dusk blue so there's an emotional connection pulling me to this car too ( needless to say I've ordered dusk blue ). I am concerned about the heat pump and am in a wait and see mode on that and since my order is the AWD can monitor reports over the winter. The Id.4 ticks every other box and it's unusual for a first model car to do that. So I'm cautiously optimistic.
 

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My Audi experience, just to show that any brand can be off/bad luck:

2011 Audi A5 2.0T The most beautiful car I've ever owned. However the day I went to take delivery it had been outside in the rain overnight and the next morning the dealership found a wet passenger carpet. In typical fashion they threw parts at it with first a new windshield. That wasn't it. Since it had a retractable pano-roof they ultimately found a bad roof channel drain pipe (case in point for why I'm glad the ID.4 has a fixed pano-roof). This despite "passing" the "monsoon test" you see in every brand's factory build video's!
2013 Audi allroad 2.0T The most beautiful and practical "station wagon" I've ever owned. Also the most comfortable long distance driving. A year into ownership the steering would periodically lose authority. The workaround was to turn the wheel lock to lock while stopped. Ultimately the entire electric power steering rack was replaced.
2016 Audi TTS 2.0T A great Quatrro AWD sports coupe with a lift back which makes it all season more practical than a Cayman and also hauls much more, in fact remarkably so. From an engineer's perspective the MQB architecture is particularly elegant. However both seats developed backshell delamination which required removal and refitting with better designed retention brackets and new lower volume side cushion air bags. This is very common for the 2016 USA introductory model year (and why I am slightly concerned about ID.4 introduction, but outweighed for me by desiring a pre-value engineered model year).

Audi's imho have far nicer interiors and state of the art tech than do their direct competitors, and Quattro in all its flavors is superior, but again any marque and model year can have issues.

So on (back) to VW I go. ;)

.... Another issue is that I owned a Golf and it's the only car that gave me a lot of trouble so that gives me pause but I've owned multiple trouble free Audi's. ... The ID.4 ticks every other box and it's unusual for a first model year car to do that. So I'm cautiously optimistic.
 

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I think I've gone through exactly the same logic chain as you. I could afford the model Y if I wanted to. But the cost difference and the lack of federal rebate really make the VW stand out. I also haven't written off getting a SR+ model 3, which ends up working out to about the same cost as the ID.4 after rebates, has the same range, but has better tech inside, just lacks storage space. I also like camping a lot and the addition of a roof carrier would about even the game with the Y and ID4 (although I could add that to either of them). I have also thrown a used model S into my spreadsheet and so far it looks the most attractive option, although uncertainty about future maintenance costs may weigh heavily on it.
Anyway your write-up was very nicely put together and I pretty much agree with all of it.
 

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My experience with depreciation on an EV is with the 2014 BMW i3. After 3 years, it was worth 25% of it's MSRP--The people that did leases made out like bandits. BUT, the 2014 i3 had about 100 mi range and each model-year afterwards the range increased, making the 2014 MY an ugly duckling. I think the same is happening with the Leaves, Leafs ? How about the Bolt? I haven't cared enough about this GM product to even follow it. My conclusion: if the 2021 EV range is 250mi and the 2024 EV range is 350mi, the FE resale will go in the toilet and you should lease--IF VW takes the $7500 Fed TC off the capital cost and you are not in a State like TX that taxes the full price of the car. I think if you are in a position where resale is important to you, ANY EV for the next three years is going to see greater than ICE-average depreciation, except for Tesla--and perhaps even Tesla when the new structural battery packs with a LOT more performance show up in 2022 in the TX-produced Model Y.
 

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I think most states tax pre rebates and tax incentives, plus you have to pay federal taxes on the tax credit. As far as technology improvements on the batteries, that’s going to happen no matter what you buy. Tesla, I think is 3-5 years away from the battery that will last 15,000 charge cycles. What happens if gasoline goes to 3.50-4.00 a gallon in a year or 2? You’re going to see the depreciation in reverse. So, while there are always unknowns, you have to want to buy an EV for several reasons. I’m buying one because I don’t want to pay for fuel and for the driving experience.
 

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My experience with depreciation on an EV is with the 2014 BMW i3. After 3 years, it was worth 25% of it's MSRP--The people that did leases made out like bandits. BUT, the 2014 i3 had about 100 mi range and each model-year afterwards the range increased, making the 2014 MY an ugly duckling. I think the same is happening with the Leaves, Leafs ? How about the Bolt? I haven't cared enough about this GM product to even follow it. My conclusion: if the 2021 EV range is 250mi and the 2024 EV range is 350mi, the FE resale will go in the toilet and you should lease--IF VW takes the $7500 Fed TC off the capital cost and you are not in a State like TX that taxes the full price of the car. I think if you are in a position where resale is important to you, ANY EV for the next three years is going to see greater than ICE-average depreciation, except for Tesla--and perhaps even Tesla when the new structural battery packs with a LOT more performance show up in 2022 in the TX-produced Model Y.
This is a good point and one that had crossed my mind. Range will definitely be correlated strongly to resale up to a certain number of miles and we aren't at that number yet ( 400mi, 500mi ? ) and correlated beyond that too. But a strong correlation will be determined by how comfortable people feel with the range for the types of trips they want to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Interesting points on resale value, thanks all! On my spreadsheet it doesn't change things much, fortunately, so the calculation holds up even though we can quibble with the narrative.

My much bigger point is that the ID.4 is an eminently practical car, for me and many others, and VW is right to pitch it against Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
 

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As the OP has said, there are a whole lot of things impacting a personal decision--it's like a bean bag, push in here, out there. My advice on depreciation is that it's worse than for ICE vehicles, for now; who knows about the future. All the conventional wisdom is that the average consumer (not early adopters like us) views range as the biggest decision point, so be particularly sensitive to an EV's range if worrying about resale. Many people's use case (like mine) should not be particularly sensitive about EV range once it goes over about 150 miles. That's because I have the experience of four EV's and my use is in town and nearby towns, with a home charger for daily overnight charging, if I wish. It's different if you are contemplating road trips. I have a second PHEV for that. But, when VW offers a smaller battery pack in the iD4 later, one should be very careful in selecting it because of a probable disproportionate hit on resale.

One note from the experience of four EV's: The Fed Tax Credit is not taxable. It's a credit on your existing taxes dollar for dollar. However, if you got a $2500 State EV Grant in the form of a check (as I did 4 times from the State of TX), it is taxable income.
 

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Do you guys think the “German Made” label on the first batch will have any impact on resale given features will definitely be upped when the Chattanooga facility comes online? I’ve heard even on some YouTube reviews that they expect the German batch to be better made.
 

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My primary reason for going for an EV is environmental. I can’t buy an ICE knowing what it does to the planet. Even if my one little car is a drop in the ocean of carbon. I am happy with the VW choice but worry about reliability especially in light of the ID 3 issues. I keep my cars for 7-8 years and then give them away to younger relatives so resale is not a concern for me. I see the existing EVs in the market as either too small or too luxurious and expensive. With the tax rebate the ID 4 hits the sweet spot of size and price!
 

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Do you guys think the “German Made” label on the first batch will have any impact on resale given features will definitely be upped when the Chattanooga facility comes online? I’ve heard even on some YouTube reviews that they expect the German batch to be better made.
I expect the German car to be of a higher quality than future Chattanooga products. Not that the Chattanooga IDx products won't be made well or have the same reliability, but there is always the push to lessen the cost of producing cars over time, which can lead to less expensive and sometimes lower quality components. VW will be doing it's best to introduce a high quality ID4 in the US, as this will determine how VW is perceived as a true competitor in the EV marketplace.
 

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One factor that need to be taken into account is the location of suppliers. For a domestic production plant to make sense, a lot of the components need to be sourced locally. Things like seats, electrical components, weatherstripping, tires, glass, fasteners, etc. Major components like the motors, transmission and EV batteries. So, the question becomes where all those parts are coming from, as well; and how their quality stacks up, compared to a well-established German/European supplier base as. An auto production plant supports a whole ecosystem of component suppliers from sub-contractors. Shipping a lot of parts from Europe is more expensive than shipping a whole vehicle. The auto duty from Germany is currently low. The Europeans have a multi-year apprentice system that is more comprehensive than the US system of enhanced-OJT for new hires. What's the wage structure of a unionized German job compared to a non-union TN job? I'm pretty sure that the cost of a US iD4 will be lower than a German iD4, once the manufacturing eco-system is well-established. Not so much, at first. I have an FE reservation and a later RWD Pro reservation. The cutoff for the TX $2500 grant is Jan 7, and the next round will not open until 9/1/2021. If I pass on the FE because it didn't get here, I'll want to make sure I'm getting a German-built Pro, as contrasted to a first-year TN production vehicle.
 

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Very good points. In Ohio we do not get any tax credits so FE anytime in 1Q works for me.
 
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