Volkswagen will increase the maximum charging rates for ID electric cars fitted with its largest (77kWh) battery as part of a series of software updates that will also allow for vehicle-to-grid charging.
The update, which will be issued to existing ID cars though an over-the-air update, will increase the fastest charging rate for ID 3, ID 4 and ID 5 models with a 77kWh battery from 125kW to 135kW. It will also be offered to other VW Group models built on the MEB electric platform, such as 77kWh versions of the Skoda Enyaq IV.
Volkswagen claims that will cut the time taken charge from 5-80% by up to nine minutes.
Meanwhile, 77kWh versions of the ID 5 GTX will be able to charge at speeds of up to 150kW. This is because Volkswagen sources the batteries for the performance model from a different supplier.
The software update also includes a new battery care mode that protects the battery's health by limiting its upper charge level to 80%.
Volkswagen has also confirmed that it will offer bidirectional charging services to owners of ID models with 77kWh batteries. Also known as vehicle-to-grid charging, this allows cars plugged in through special home chargers to feed spare electricity back into the network to help smooth demand at peak times. Customers would be paid for the returned energy.
The technology will also allow owners with home power-generation systems (chiefly solar panels) to directly charge their cars and to use algorithms that charge the car at times when the most renewable energy is available.
Those services will also be enabled in cars by a free over-the-air update, although owners will need a new home energy-management system, including a special DC BiDi wallbox.
Elke Temme, the charging and energy boss of Volkswagen Group Components, said: “Bidirectional charging is a major boost to sustainability, because it turns cars into mobile power banks. Customers will be able to contribute to sustainability, but it will also be good for their wallet. If you do it right, you will effectively be able to charge your car for free at times.”
The moves are part of a range of new services that Volkswagen is aiming to introduce to make both home charging and remote charging easier.
The firm says that it's being guided by user data generated from early ID buyers, which shows that most use home charging or high-speed charging networks.
Volkswagen is an investor in the Ionity high-speed charging network and offers its own We Charge charging service. It's planning further upgrades for this service, including a ‘plug and charge’ authentication option that means ID models plugged into compatible networks will begin to charge directly, with no need for a credit card.