Some EVs employ regenerative braking to recover energy whenever the accelerator pedal is released, while others simply allow the vehicle to coast. For the new ID.4 electric compact SUV, Volkswagen decided that coasting will take priority because energy conversion inevitably leads to losses. This applies to the Drive position, which is activated by default upon start-up.
The coasting function makes for relaxed and predictable driving. Should drivers want to decelerate more, they step on the brake pedal and activate regenerative braking. During the majority of everyday braking maneuvers—up to around 0.25 g of deceleration—the electric drive motor performs the braking alone, while the electric brake servo only activates the friction brakes in situations that demand more stopping power. The transition from generator-based to hydraulic braking goes almost unnoticed, thanks to the brake and drive control systems, which also make sure that the rear wheels, where brake energy recuperation takes place, always have a sufficient amount of grip.
Each ID.4 features predictive Eco Assistance as standard. This feature analyzes data from the navigation system and vehicle sensors to provide drivers with effective support in driving efficiently and comfortably. Once the ID.4 approaches a low-speed area, such as urban environments, junctions and bends, Eco Assistance notifies drivers to take their foot off the accelerator pedal. From this moment on, the system manages optimum coasting and energy recovery without driver intervention. The car responds similarly when it approaches a slower-moving vehicle ahead.
Drivers can use the gear selector rocker switch to change from Drive to Brake at any time. In Brake mode, the ID.4’s drive almost always recovers energy when the accelerator is released, but not all the way to vehicle standstill. The limit has been set at 0.13 g—enough for clearly noticeable deceleration that won’t confuse drivers of ICE vehicles.