The ID.4 electric crossover isn’t just the first of Volkswagen’s dedicated mass-production EVs to be available in the U.S., or the first electric SUV from VW. 

Although Volkswagen had given some early indications that the ID.3, which won’t be offered in the U.S., would be the volume model of the MEB lineup, a recent presentation and formatted interview from VW show that the ID.4 will play second fiddle to the ID.4. 

Volkswagen is aiming to produce a total of 1.5 million electrified vehicles per year by 2025, and it expects the ID.4 to account for around a third of this total—500,000 per year globally by then, when the brand will have local production of the ID.4 in Germany, in China, and in the U.S.

“The ID.4 will thus become the driving force behind our reorientation a hundred thousand times over,” said Ralf Brandstätter, the CEO of the Volkswagen brand. As the executive put it, the ID.4 marks “the e-offensive and the SUV-offensive of the Volkswagen brand—both combined in one vehicle.”

That coordinates with what Volkswagen of America sales and marketing chief Duncan Movassaghi told Green Car Reports last month—that the ID.4 won’t be a rival for the Tesla Model Y so much as for mainstream internal-combustion models like the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4.

Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept

Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept

The ID.3 and ID.4 are just the start, though. The Škoda EnyaQ, the Audi Q4 E-Tron, and Seat Cupra el-Born are all due next year and will be based on the same MEB platform. 

By the middle of the decade, the pace of fully electric model introductions is slated to pick up, and Volkswagen said that it expects the entire Volkswagen Group to build about 20 million MEB-based electric vehicles by 2029.

U.S. production of the ID.4 and one other model are due to start in Chattanooga in 2022. That’s the time VW has hinted that the eagerly anticipated model based on the ID Buzz, a van-like model with nods to the vintage Microbus, is due.

VW ID.4 crossover

VW ID.4 crossover

It took Nissan nearly 10 years to build 500,000 Leaf electric cars. Tesla hit 500,000 Model 3 sedans in less than three years. At the rate at which EV adoption is expected to accelerate, making 500,000 a year by the ID.4’s fourth full year of production sounds entirely doable—if, that is, the ID.4 is received well.

Check back for a lot more on this important electric model, due to be fully revealed on September 23.