The guys at Nextmove are always involved with relevant EV testing. Not only because they are into electric cars but also because their business relates to them. Their latest test revealed more than how they behave in the winter. It also revealed that the Volkswagen ID.3 with a heat pump is actually less efficient than the one that does not have it.
That is very concerning when you consider that no ID.3 comes with a heat pump as standard. People willing to have it in their EVs have to pay an extra €1,250 ($1,521 at the current exchange rate). The ones who do that want precisely what Volkswagen promised the car would achieve: 30 percent more range in the winter. With a higher energy consumption, that is not possible.
Nextmove got in touch with Volkswagen to ask for explanations. The electric car rental company claims to have provided all testing conditions. Regardless of that, Volkswagen replied that it could not comment because it did not have that information.
What Volkswagen did offer was the information that its heat pump could be in “Dehumididy Mode” instead of “Heat Mode.” It also said that a longer range in the winter is achievable with the equipment and that it is working to improve “climate efficiency” in its products.
That made Stefan Moeller – the owner of Nextmove – say in the video that he believes this is another of the ID.3 issues that will be fixed with updates. We just wonder if this is something the OS fix has addressed or if it is something further updates will handle.
Another situation the tests identified was that the ID.3 always uses the energy in its own battery pack to warm it up even if the car is still plugged into a power outlet or a charger. In other words, you will not manage to save range if you preheat the battery pack in cold weather. Under the current circumstances, that would only be beneficial by preserving battery health in the long term.
Volkswagen also replied to this situation and gave Moeller the same answer it gave for the heat pump issue: a software update will sort this out. In fact, Volkswagen referred to “the upcoming software update.”
Considering this video was published on December 9 but probably shot a lot earlier, it’s not unlikely that the operating system update announced on December 7 has solved all these situations. Nextmove itself pointed 22 bugs the ID.3 had and the reason for that: Volkswagen was trying to avoid a CO2 emissions fine by releasing the EV before it should.
The German EV rental company will probably do the tests again as soon as its cars receive that new OS. We can’t wait to watch this next video from them – or from anyone able to compare two ID.3s: one with a heat pump and one without it.