Volkswagen of America has unveiled the first results of its nationwide Network Readiness Co-Op Program, an investment of $20 million (£15 million/€18 million) to support its more than 600 dealership partners to transform into regional hubs of electric vehicle (EV) experience.
With sales and reservations for the all-electric ID.4 Sports utility vehicle (SUV) climbing, Volkswagen’s program seeks to enhance consumer access by helping its 50-state dealership network establish the underlying electric vehicle infrastructure, such as upgraded service centres and high-capacity chargers.
As a result of the program, which will continue until June 2022, Volkswagen dealers have added 23,490kW of charging capacity. They have also trained more than 1,260 electric vehicle service technicians and implemented dedicated EV specialists to create emobility centric consumer experiences across the country.
Scott Keogh, Volkswagen Group of America CEO, said: “It’s the consumer who will lead America’s electric vehicle revolution. It’s our dealership partners who bring their communities into electric vehicles, providing unmatched service and expertise.
“We’re dedicated to fully support them in this journey. With nine out of ten Volkswagen ID.4 buyers identifying as first-time EV buyers, I’ve never been more confident that the electric future is driven by Volkswagen.”
In addition, Volkswagen has launched a dedicated EV Technician Retention Program to support dealers to boost training, incentivise their technicians and recruit new talent equipped at addressing the EV shift.
The program enables Volkswagen and participating dealers to financially reward dealership technicians with a retention bonus of $2,000 per year. This empowers them to gain new individual certifications to enhance their skillsets and build up comprehensive expertise for the ID.4 and all Volkswagen electric models in the years to come.
Tom McMenamin, Volkswagen National Dealer Chairman, said: “I believe with the commitment Volkswagen has put forth to electrification along with the service and support the dealer body will offer, Volkswagen will be the top choice on consumers shopping list when looking to go electric.”
To date, the ID.4 is among the fastest-selling vehicles in Volkswagen of America’s current product portfolio. With more than 15,000 cars sold and more than 40,000 ID.4 gross reservations since its introduction in March 2021, consumer interest keeps climbing.
More than 85 percent of all ID.4 buyers have enrolled for three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC Fast Chargers across the country. Plus, drivers have already charged more than 22 million miles for their ID.4s at Electrify America stations.
To further push electric mobility for the American consumer, Volkswagen is preparing its Chattanooga, Tennessee facilities for the localised production of the ID.4 during 2022.