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.

CAR (UK) - - Contents - By Ian Ad­cock

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

2022

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.

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