Volkswagen announced multiple new or improved charging-related features that are coming to its ID. electric cars, specifically in Europe, through an over-the-air software update (probably Q1 2022).
At least some of the cars will get a software update to DC fast charge at a higher peak rate. In the pipeline, there is also a Plug & Charge feature and bidirectional charging option coming.
Let's check out some of the details.
135 kW DC fast charging
The Volkswagen ID. cars with the largest battery option (82 kWh, 77 kWh usable) are promised to get a software update that will increase the peak DC fast charging rate from 125 kW to 135 kW (by 10 kW or 8%). The top-of-the-line ID.5 GTX version will be able to charge at up to 150 kW.
According to the manufacturer, it will improve the charging from 5 to 80% state-of-charge (SOC) by 9 minutes.
"New software for the ID. models. In the near future, all ID. models will leave the production line with a new software version that offers significant benefits for charging. The maximum power rating for the 77-kWh battery will increase from 125 to 135 kW (or 150 kW for the ID.5 GTX2). This will cut the charging time by up to nine minutes when charging from 5 to 80 percent SOC (state of charge). These improvements will be activated in already delivered customer vehicles by means of a software update in the near future."
There is no info about any upcoming upgrades for the 62 kWh and 48 kWh battery versions of the cars.
An interesting thing is also the introduction of a new Battery Care Mode, which basically sets a charging cap limit at 80% SOC.
"There is also a new Battery Care Mode that ensures maximum protection of the battery. This restricts the upper charge level (SOC) to 80 percent."
Improved charge planning
Volkswagen ID. drivers probably will be happy to hear that the infotainment/navigation software will get some important upgrades.
It includes dynamic route evaluation, with multiple charging points and a strategy that minimises the overall time (two short charging stops at higher power vs a single longer stop at lower power).
- The charging menu, which now appears on the top level of the large touch display in the ID. models, will also be structured in a more informative and clearer way.
- The Online Route Calculation function in the navigation system performs intelligent multi- stop route planning for long journeys so that the vehicle can reach the destination as quickly as possible.
The function uses traffic and route data as well as the desired charge level at the destination for this purpose. The charging stops are evaluated dynamically on the basis of the charging station capacity and occupancy level. As a result of this, the route planning function may suggest two short charging operations with high power instead of a long charging stop with low power.
Plug & Charge in 2022
Volkswagen announced that in 2022, it will introduce the Plug & Charge feature (ISO 15118 standard) in Europe, starting with a few charging networks: Ionity, Aral, bp as well as EON. More will be added at a later point.
The feature enables charging the car without the use of RFID cards or apps, as all steps of the authentication process are automatic.
"In 2022, Volkswagen’s ID. models will already be provided with a new function that will replace the current charging card authentication process to make charging at fast charging stations even simpler. Here, encrypted and secure communication in accordance with the ISO 15118 standard will be started between the car and charging station as soon as the customer plugs in the charging cable. This authentication process takes just a few seconds before charging starts. Billing then functions in the usual way via the We Charge contract."
In general, the Volkswagen's We Charge charging card will still be necessary to get access to all of the 270,000+ public charging points included in the We Charge network.
Bidirectional home charging
One of the most interesting things that is coming is the Bidirectional charging feature. However, it will be available only for cars with the largest 82 kWh battery.
The company will offer a special bidirectional charger - DC BiDi wallbox - which is expected to turn the electric car into an energy storage system for the Home Energy Management System (HEMS).
Prices, power level, and other details were not provided yet.
"...the electric cars can feed electricity they don’t need into the customer’s home network (vehicle-to-home) and in the future they will also provide electricity to stabilise the electricity grid. All ID. models with a 77 kWh battery will have this capability in future. An over-the-air update rolled out gradually will be used to make this available for vehicles already delivered as well. A special DC BiDi wallbox will be used for the power transfer and communication."
Volkswagen announced that by 2030, at least 70% of its new car sales in Europe will be all-electric. Charging and energy management are becoming a core business for the company.
Elke Temme, Head of the Charging and Energy business area at Volkswagen Group Components and CEO of Elli said:
“Our goal is to ensure that an electric vehicle is capable of being a customer’s primary car – without any compromises. That is why we are building a complete charging eco-system, with residential charging solutions and a rapid expansion of the fast-charging infrastructure required for mobile charging, as well as competent advice, comprehensive charging tariffs and the right fleet solutions for business customers.
We also have a clear strategic objective. We want to make it possible for the batteries in our electric vehicles to be used on the energy market as flexible, mobile energy storage units. Such energy storage options are essential for increasing the share of renewable energies. In addition, this can also make charging significantly cheaper for customers, and they will then be able to feed their own power into the public grid.”