What did you find most inspiring about the development work on the ID. family?
The work on the new ID.3 – the first Volkswagen built on the basis of the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) – was of course really spectacular for a platform developer like me. Every developer wants to be involved in such a project at some point in their professional career. Defining a new vehicle generation with the ID. family represents a paradigm shift for all of us at Volkswagen – similar to the transition from the Beetle to the Golf.
At what point did you realise that electromobility for everyone was on the verge of a breakthrough?
The CO2 limits set for cars in the year 2030 require electric mobility solutions to be developed across the board and as quickly as possible, otherwise we cannot meet the climate targets in the EU. The ID.3 – equipped with the latest technology – is our contribution on the way to a climate-neutral society. The important thing is that it isn’t at the expense of the emotionality and fun aspect of the vehicles. Individual and affordable mobility is and will always be the essence of our vehicles – and this is also the case with the ID.3 and its later platform siblings.
In detail: What technology do you find the most fascinating in the new ID.3?
The ID.3 has been designed as a purely battery-powered vehicle – in other words, it is consistent and there is no possibility of switching to any other kind of drive system through the back door at a later date. It has therefore been possible to incorporate all of the technical advantages of an electric drive system. This in turn benefits our customers – by creating a much larger interior while keeping the exterior length of the vehicle the same, for example.
Considering the entire project, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
Turning the idea of a purely battery-powered platform into the finished product was a big challenge. Technical constraints and requirements that previously didn’t exist had to be taken into consideration. At the heart of the MEB, for example, is a high-voltage battery. The design of this battery had to be as simple as possible to minimise costs, because the more complex the architecture of the battery, the more expensive the integration. The following principle essentially always applies: a blank sheet of paper at the beginning is the biggest challenge you face.
What have you, personally, gained from the project?
We have shown that it is possible with a functioning team to usher in a new era at Volkswagen within the shortest space of time. That is a fantastic and thrilling experience.
What tangible advantages do the digital simulation solutions produce in terms of the development of the platform model?
Only the digital simulation solutions make it possible to perform a qualitative assessment of the design within a really short space of time. For the ID.3 it was the key tool that allowed us to find the right direction.