Does it work? Fer­rari drift con­trol

CAR (UK) - - Contents -

chal­lenge will be in the less fa­mil­iar area of bat­tery costs. As VW makes the tran­si­tion from in­ter­nal com­bus­tion to elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, it needs to not only mas­ter the use of bat­ter­ies but se­cure a re­li­able, cost-ef­fec­tive sup­ply of the raw ma­te­ri­als, while be­ing on the look­out for tech­ni­cal ad­vances.

Said Senger: ‘To­day 40 per cent of an EV’s cost is the bat­tery and while the cost of com­po­nents like elec­tric mo­tors and power elec­tron­ics has halved we won’t achieve cost par­ity un­til 2025, not be­fore. We have to re­duce bat­tery costs but in the mean­time re­duce com­plex­ity by sim­pli­fy­ing the ar­chi­tec­ture is a move in the right di­rec­tion.’

Like the MEB, the bat­tery pack is mod­u­lar. Ac­cord­ing to the new WLTP as­sess­ment, the en­try-level bat­tery will of­fer 200 miles of range. The next step up is around 270 miles. A third, yet to be con­firmed, is ex­pected to hold enough charge to of­fer a 340-mile range. Ini­tially, the en­try hatch in 2020 will only get the mid­dle-sized bat­tery, ex­pected to be 48kW/h; the most pow­er­ful is likely to de­but in an SUV.

The lithium-ion bat­ter­ies are still un­der­go­ing de­vel­op­ment, ac­cord­ing to Dr Ar­min Modlinger, re­spon­si­ble for de­vel­op­ing cell tech­nol­ogy for all the VW brands; he’s based at the pi­lot line for bat­tery cell pro­duc­tion be­ing built in Salzgit­ter. VW is us­ing both pris­matic and pouch cells for the most ef­fi­cient pack­ag­ing and eas­ier han­dling. ‘We need to in­crease the en­ergy den­sity to im­prove range by adding more nickel to the cathode and sil­i­con to the an­ode,’ he said.

Cru­cially, be­cause the ID range will be built on a global scale, in­clud­ing the USA and China, the bat­ter­ies are ‘cell ag­nos­tic’ – able to ac­com­mo­date lo­cally pro­duced cells.

Ac­cord­ing to Modlinger, solid state bat­ter­ies – with their im­proved safety and higher en­ergy den­sity – are not likely to ap­pear un­til the end of the 2020s.

ID is not just about elec­tri­fi­ca­tion. When the first pro­duc­tion ID is launched, it will be the first VW to be per­ma­nently con­nected to the cloud via 4G, and it is be­ing fu­ture-proofed for 5G. VW has de­vel­oped a com­pletely new end-to-end elec­tron­ics ar­chi­tec­ture, branded E3, to­gether with the new vw.OS op­er­at­ing sys­tem al­low­ing the car’s soft­ware to be re­motely up­dated.

A trio of sep­a­rate ap­pli­ca­tion servers con­trol var­i­ous func­tions on the car: an in­fo­tain­ment server for third-party apps; an au­tonomous driv­ing server; and a third server that is only ac­ces­si­ble via VW’s dig­i­tal plat­form. VW is part of the Ionity part­ner­ship with Daim­ler, BMW and Ford, which plans to open

400 charg­ing sites with an av­er­age of six charge points per site across Eu­rope in 2020; as de­mand and tech­nol­ogy evolve, th­ese will be able to charge at up to 350kW and 920 volts.

Senger dis­missed con­cerns about bat­tery re­cy­cling and the prospect of a dead li-ion bat­tery moun­tain, re­veal­ing that VW is work­ing with both uni­ver­si­ties and in­dus­try to de­velop re­cy­cling pro­cesses that will re­cover 97 per cent of the bat­ter­ies’ chem­i­cals, although that is un­likely to emerge be­fore 2025 when there are suf­fi­cient EVs on the road to make it fi­nan­cially vi­able.

‘Be­fore then we could just re­place any cells that fail and re­bal­ance the bat­tery or re­move the bat­tery and use it for sta­tion­ary stor­age – there will be a huge mar­ket for this as the pric­ing is higher than in the au­to­mo­tive value chain.’

Credit where it’s due: hasn’t VW been forced into this by Elon Musk and Tesla?’ Senger says: ‘Tesla proved that peo­ple like EVs and that it’s not just about be­ing CO2 com­pli­ant. If Model 3 had been on time – yes, that would have been a se­ri­ous threat.’

Con­cepts show a pos­si­ble MEB fam­ily: from left, ID, ID Crozz, ID Vizzion and ID Buzz LIV­ING WITH AN IDVW has a three-pronged charg­ing strat­egy. Ev­ery Eu­ro­pean dealer will get at least three charg­ing points (7.2, 11 and 125kW). Cus­tomers can buy a do­mes­tic 11kW charger. And VW is part of the Ionity project to open 400 pub­lic charg­ing sites across Eu­rope in2020.

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