With the transformation of the Volkswagen Group Components plant in Kassel into the Group’s competence center for electric drives, the site is expanding its product portfolio and, in addition to the existing transmission types, will in future also produce the electric drive for the coming electric vehicles. Volkswagen Group’s first electric car, the e-up!
, was launched in autumn 2013. And even then, the electric drive, or e-drive for short, developed in northern Hesse, was the heart of the car. Series production has been underway in Kassel since 2014. In the future, the daily production of the ID. Family will be producing 2,000 e-drives per day.
Compared to a conventional combustion engine, the electric drive brings about some changes: The maximum torque is immediately available in electric motors and remains constant over a wide speed range. The use of a so-called 1-speed transmission is therefore sufficient for the entire speed range. For reversing, the direction of rotation of the electric drive is simply reversed with the help of the power electronics. In the ID.3((ID.3: The vehicle is not yet available for sale in Europe.))), the complete APP310 drive unit with the gearbox, the essential parts of which are manufactured by Volkswagen Group Components, is extremely compact. With just a few gears, it transmits the power of the electric drive to the wheels - one gear is sufficient for all driving situations. As a result, the 1-speed transmission saves space and weight compared to a conventional representative.
The ID.3 transmission is a 1-speed transmission with two speeds. In the ID.3, high speeds are required to reach the maximum power of 150 kW. In order to deliver powerful torque, the 1-speed gearbox uses about ten times the transmission ratio. In order to save space, the transmission ratio was designed with two smaller two-stage gears instead of one large gear. For the ID.3, which is optimized for range, the use of only one gear is perfectly adequate for all driving situations.
Precision manufacturing makes the e-car particularly quiet
The electric drive brings with it another special feature. Since it is significantly quieter than a combustion engine, acoustics play an important role in noise comfort. Even the smallest sources of interference suddenly become audible. At the end of the production line, therefore, not only are performance figures for the electric drive tested, but also relevant values for its acoustics.
All drives manufactured for European and North American e-vehicles on the basis of the Modular E-Drive Kit (MEB) - including the 1-speed transmission - come from the components plant in Kassel. Major additional parts for this are produced and supplied by the Group Components plants in Salzgitter, Poznań and Hanover.