The range of MEB models will therefore be similar in size to that of current vehicles based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB), arguably the most successful vehicle architecture in use today: around 55 million Group vehicles have been produced on the basis of the first-generation MQB. Volkswagen is now bringing its platform strategy into the age of electric vehicles. The top-of-the-range vehicles based on the globally deployed modular electric drive matrix (MEB) will be large B-segment models with up to seven seats. A zero-emission sport utility vehicle in the style of the ID. CROZZ concept car will be launched in 2020, i.e. the same year as the compact ID. The ID. BUZZ concept car, meanwhile, is paving the way for a zero-emission van from Volkswagen, the design of which is firmly based on the legendary “Bulli” and for which a series production version will be launched in 2022. The avant-garde ID. VIZZION provides a glimpse into the future of sedans. A series production version of the sedan is expected to be available in 2022.
Truly unique selling proposition for Volkswagen
The MEB will not only be the technical matrix for all Volkswagen ID. family models but also for many electric cars of four other Group brands: Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. As such, the MEB will be used across a total of five brands and in three regions of the world, will cover the entire spectrum from compact car to Bulli and will form the technological backbone of more than 10 million Group vehicles in the first wave alone. The systematic platform strategy is a truly unique selling proposition for Volkswagen and also shows how determined the Wolfsburg-based company is to make a success of e-mobility.
Other advantages include weight optimization (on account of the aluminum housing), the adaptability of different battery cell types, and an integrated cooling system. The battery can therefore be used to drive one axles or both axles. As the set-up of the cell modules is arranged in a similar way to a bar of chocolate, the battery is also easy to install. Volkswagen has also managed to increase the charging capacity to 125 kW – a figure never before achieved in the ID.’s segment which will considerably speed up the charging process and hence shorten charging stops.
Simple charging anytime, anywhere
The third key factor of the Volkswagen e-offensive is about the availability of charging possibilities. The key to electromobility becoming established is to create an infrastructure that enables a comprehensive means of charging vehicles to suit their usage scenario: i.e. “refueling” them at home, at public charging stations in cities and (for long journeys) along highways. Volkswagen is developing attractive offerings for all these scenarios.
There are various technical solutions, depending on the situation in which the e-car is charged. For instance, Volkswagen is launching the “Volks-Wallbox” – a station for charging cars at home – together with the ID. It will come in three variants. The first is the low-cost 11-kW AC wallbox which is used for charging batteries gently overnight and takes 5 to 8 hours to fully recharge them. The convenience version also includes attractive means of payment and a connectivity solution that can be used to download, for example, updates and the latest information to the car. The third variant is a 22-kW DC charging station with far shorter charging times. It will completely recharge the battery of the I.D. in 3 to 4 hours.