The Volkswagen ID.3 has been given a thumbs up by Germany’s ADAC, the largest automobile association in Europe, after being subjected to a 62,000-mile long-term test spanning two and a half years.
Engineers at ADAC’s Test and Technology Center in Landsberg am Lech covered more than 62,000 miles (100,000 kilometers) with a Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S and found that the high-voltage 77-kilowatt-hour battery – available in every ID model – still has a net capacity of 93 percent and shows no abnormalities.
That is far above the 70 percent that VW guarantees as part of its new car warranty over eight years or 100,000 miles of driving.
ADAC says its testers did not protect the battery and often charged it to 100 percent at DC fast charging stations to reach the 62,000-mile mark as quickly as possible. Volkswagen recommends fast charging to 80 percent to favor battery longevity.
Volkswagen ID.3 on long-term test by ADAC
ADAC had to charge the battery to a 100 percent state of charge so that the vehicle was ready to offer the next tester the maximum driving range, which ADAC found to be 248 miles (400 km) in the real world. This was ADAC’s first test of its kind with a vehicle of Volkswagen’s ID family.
Between test drives, the ID.3 was repeatedly checked by ADAC engineers. The association examined eight main criteria and more than 300 sub-criteria, ranging from technology and safety to handling, ease of operation, and environmental impact.
One of ADAC’s recommendations for owners is to always install software updates. During the endurance test, the Volkswagen ID. 3 received several software updates, one of which brought an increase in charging power up to 170 kW.
Besides fixing bugs, the updates also had a positive effect on consumption and range. In particular, the new software is said to have significantly improved power consumption over short distances and winter temperatures of 0-5° C (32-41° F).
ADAC testers also had good things to say about VW ID.3’s intelligent Electric Vehicle Route Planner, which the EV received via an update. When picking a longer route, the system plans the charging stops in such a way that the destination is reached as quickly as possible.
Besides the state of charge, the Electric Vehicle Route Planner also takes into account the current traffic situation and forecasts. In addition, the charging stops are evaluated dynamically and are based on the performance of the stalls. For example, route planning can suggest two short charging stops with high power instead of a single long one with low power.
Mind you, not everything worked great on the ID.3. ADAC listed some of its downsides, including constant problems related to software programming, the slow infotainment system, and the lack of battery preheating – though that’s coming as part of a future update – as well as well-known issues like the impractical touch controls on the steering wheel and imprecise temperature adjustment sliders.
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