VW reveals its EV hardware
With its all-electric ID range set to be revealed before the end of 2019, VW reveals the hardware that will underpin 10 million cars.
THE ELECTRIC ID brand is as significant to VW as the Beetle was in 1945 and the original Golf in 1974. In their different ways, they transformed the company. Can ID do the same at a time when VW is still being buffeted by the aftershocks of Dieselgate? This is a revolution in vehicle design and manufacture that’s about to get very real, with VW committed to putting its first production ID on sale in 2020 for the price of a decent Golf diesel.
While VW isn’t dropping petrol and diesel just yet, its investment in electrification is vast; there’s no turning back now. The only question is how long the electric and internal-combustion product lines will co-exist. The £5.3bn programme includes £1.1bn at its Braunschweig, Salzgitter and Kassel sites, with a further £1bn at Zwickau. That investment in production capacity is necessary because VW expects to be building 100,000 ID models in 2020, rising to 10 times that in 2025.
Key to the programme, which will see the roll-out of 27 EV models from Seat, Skoda, Audi and VW worldwide by 2022, is its modular electric drive matrix or MEB platform. ‘This is the world’s first platform dedicated to electrification,’ Christian Senger, head of the e-mobility product line, told CAR.
The hatch displayed at the ID brand’s launch is the size of a Golf but with the interior space of a Passat – a crucial advantage of electric propulsion. ‘Each of the ID models, which will range from A-segment through to a saloon, SUV and a seven-seater, will have the interior space of the class above,’ explained Andreas Köhler of the MEB’s electronic project management team.
With an anticipated 10 million vehicle sales across all VW Group brands during the first wave of electrification, there’s been considerable focus on component sharing and cost cutting. The use of an all-steel platform will help; it’s far cheaper than a lightweight aluminium alternative. But the big cost4
The MEB platform will be used in 27 VW Group
electric vehicles by
2THE GREAT UNKNOWNVW is on a steep learning curve with lithium-ion batteries: it’s not only developing them but also massproducing them. Each has around 2500 components when connectors, cooling and management systems are included. For Euro-built cars, battery production is concentrated at Braunschweig, able to make 500k a year.3UNDER THE SKIN, IT’S STILL BIG LUMPS OF METALThe steel MEB platform underpinning the irst VW ID EVs positions the battery packs under the loor, and has a relatively long wheelbase and minimal overhangs. Combined with the absence of engine and conventional transmission, that provides a roomy cabin, albeit one with seats positionedhigh.