Deliveries of the first Volkswagen ID.3 1ST started about a year ago, so it's time to see the first reports about battery degradation.

Battery Life recently released a video about a one-year-old ID.3 with a 62 kWh battery (58 kWh usable) that has covered 22,644 km (14,073 miles). The WLTP range of this model is up to 420 km (261 miles).

It might not be the most typical example of battery degradation, since the car covered the first 15,000 km (9,000 miles) within the first three months of ownership. At the time, it was charged almost exclusively (90%) at 100 kW DC fast chargers up to full, and regularly discharged below 10% State of Charge (SOC). Later, the usage profile has changed to mostly 11 kW AC and up to 80% SOC.

To see how the range changes, Battery Life conducted a 90 km/h (56 mph) range test and compared to results to a similar test a year ago. The results are as follows:

  • Sep 2021: estimated 444.5 km (276.3 miles)
  • Sep 2020: estimated 456 km (283 miles)
  • difference: 2.5%

The conditions were different during the tests, so next Battery Life checked the energy consumption shown by the car and calculated the usable battery capacity:

  • Sep 2021: 122 Wh/km and estimated 54.4 kWh
  • Sep 2020: 129 Wh/km and estimated 58.8 kWh
  • difference: 4.4 kWh or 7.5%

That would be quite a substantial decrease. We know that often the degradation is highest in the initial year and then slows down, but 7.5% would be a lot.

In an additional test, Battery Life checked the energy consumed at a fast charger:

  • Sep 2021: 8-100% at 53.1 kWh and estimated 57.7 kWh total
  • Sep 2020: 2-100% at 62.2 kWh and estimated 63.5 kWh total
  • difference: 5.8 kWh or 9.1%

Here the difference is even higher, but we don't feel this methodology is accurate enough. There are many factors that might affect the result by a few percent.

This is why we must wait for more range tests and see whether 7-8% is noted by other users or if the drop is more reasonable.

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