What did you find most inspiring about the development work on the ID. family?
The “radical nature” of the approach: a few years ago, I worked on in product strategy on a project, which was: “What comes after the Golf?”. It was all about what step could be anticipated next in the automotive industry – the next level of automobiles, as it were. I have now had the opportunity to actually shape and develop precisely that step. It all started with the initial sketches – the fundamental genetic markers of the car – with the goal being to develop the best electric cars for our customers. We broke new ground in many areas. That is great fun and is certainly unique in automotive development. When you see the anticipated volumes, the ID. vehicles will change streetscapes all over the world and will significantly contribute to the reduction in CO2 emissions. This is another aspect that gave me an incredible motivation to succeed.
At what point did you realise that electromobility for everyone was on the verge of a breakthrough?
When I sat in the first prototype of the ID.3 and was allowed to try it out. I knew then that the concept of the car was sustainable, it would captivate and, at the same time, would be affordable. That is definitely also down to the scalable batteries, which make it possible to configure the ideal range for any mode of driving. As it stands, that is unique in the compact segment.
In detail: What technology do you find the most fascinating in the new ID.3?
For me, it is not “one particular technology”, but the whole car experience as a driver. The large interior, despite its compact dimensions, the “airiness”, and the ease of operation. We got rid of a few “old practices”. The operating concept is now based on a “simplicity approach” – less is more. In this regard, the car is a clear step forward.
Considering the entire project, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
The biggest challenge for me was to impose the underlying concept of the car throughout the entire vehicle design process: an affordable, compact electric car with a completely new space concept – “open space” – and a radically simplified means of operation. Over the course of the process, you have to convince many colleagues to strike out in new directions, find different solutions, and to develop new modules, such as was the case with the drivetrain, battery and air conditioning.
What have you, personally, gained from the project?
I am really proud of the car. It is simply very enjoyable to have the opportunity to repeatedly rethink the car. The open-space interior of the ID.3 is definitely a highlight for me. This would not have been possible without the intense – but always cooperative and constructive – efforts of my colleagues, who consistently strived to achieve the best.
What are the advantages of an interior mock-up?
The interior mock-ups are a great opportunity to experience and try things out. You cannot develop any cars on a purely theoretical basis. Despite all the simulation solutions, what ultimately counts is always the way a car feels. This structure allows us to design and develop the cars optimally for our customers.