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Volkswagen launches “Electric for All” campaign, demos rolling chassis of MEB

Volkswagen is launching its “Electric for All” campaign—a strategic effort to put attractive electric vehicles at affordable prices on the road, paving the way for the breakthrough of electric vehicles. Volkswagen’s electric offensive is based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB), a technology platform developed specifically for electric vehicles. Production of the Volkswagen ID., the first series vehicle based on the MEB, will begin in Zwickau at the end of 2019.

In a series of media workshops this week at the Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden, Volkswagen will provide more insight into the technology of the ID. The company is demonstrating the centerpiece of the MEB—the rolling chassis without the bodywork and interior—exactly as it will be used in series models.

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Volkswagen is also premiering a design prototype of the “Volks-Wallbox” in Dresden. This Wallbox is an affordable home system that makes charging the ID. family easy and convenient.

Our Modular Transverse Toolkit already proved Volkswagen is one of the most successful platform developers in the auto industry. Now, we’re transferring this know-how and this strategy to the electric age. By the end of 2022, four Group brands will be ramping up 27 MEB models worldwide, ranging from compact cars to the lifestyle Bulli. That is something quite unique.

—Thomas Ulbrich, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for E-Mobility

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All members of the ID family are designed for fast charging. Using fast charging systems, the battery can be charged 80% in about 30 minutes thanks to a completely new, significantly more powerful battery system developed by Volkswagen Group Components.

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The use of a new generation of high-performance batteries begins with the ID. models. Thanks to their modular design and the multi-cell format, these batteries can be installed in smaller or larger ID. models.

—Christian Senger, Head of the E-mobility Product Line

ID family: e-mobility made in Germany. In every respect, the Volkswagen ID will be an electric car made in Germany. Most of the Volkswagen locations in Germany are involved in the development and production of the first MEB-based electric cars, including the Volkswagen Group Components sites in Braunschweig, Salzgitter and Kassel. The company is investing €1.3 billion (US$1.5 billion) of a total €6 billion (US$7 billion) budgeted for e-mobility at these three sites.

The ID was conceived and developed by the E-mobility Product Line and Research and Development units at the main plant in Wolfsburg. This is also where the pre-series model is currently being built in the pilot hall and will subsequently be put through its paces at the Ehra-Lessien proving grounds.

Volkswagen will build the series production models of the ID family in Saxony. €1.2 billion is being invested in Zwickau to become the first pure-play MEB plant and the largest competence center for e-mobility in Europe. The Gläserne Manufaktur began building the Volkswagen e-Golf back in April 2017. The plant is evolving into a “Center of Future Mobility”. Customers and visitors can enjoy an interactive encounter with e-mobility and digitalization to discover more about the future of mobility.

The Braunschweig plant will manufacture the battery system, the heart of the ID. This factory with a long history already builds the batteries for the e-up!, the e-Golf and the Passat GTE plug-in hybrid. Braunschweig is today the battery and packaging specialist and has extensive know-how in power electronics, battery cooling systems and software management. The plant is currently being expanded so as to be able to build up to half a million battery systems per year in future.

The Salzgitter plant starts pre-series production of rotors and stators for the MEB this year. The Battery Cell Center of Excellence (CoE) is amassing development and manufacturing competence in battery cells and battery module production. This currently includes a lab line to be followed by pilot production with a view to building up production know-how.

The Kassel plant has already been the competence center for electric drives for many years. Production of the entirely new MEB drive developed by Group Components for the Volkswagen brand begins at the end of this year. The site is the lead plant for high-quality, cost-efficient electric motors.

Comments

Davemart

The critical thing is:

'Using fast charging systems, the battery can be charged 80% in about 30 minutes thanks to a completely new, significantly more powerful battery system developed by Volkswagen Group Components.'

So what are the specs?

Are they NMC pouch prismatics?

How much cobalt do they use?

And is this really going to happen, or are they more'clean diesel' from the VW Group?

Davemart

It looks to me as though they may be hoping to use CATL NMC 811 cells, which if they work OK should have greater energy density and lower cobalt use than current 532 cells:

https://www.electrive.com/2018/08/15/catl-rushing-to-launch-ncm-811-battery-cells-first/

If that is the case, then it is hardly a slam dunk, as the testing in the application is a work in progress and fire hazard is difficult to control with low cobalt chemistries.

HarveyD

Modular EVs will give superior construction flexibility and may be lighter depending on materials and batteries used.

EV batteries evolved and are evolving at a very slow rate of 5% to 8%/year. It will take many years to go from 1X to 5X and may take more/many decades to go from 5X to 10X units. Affordable all weather extended range BEVs need much lower cost 5X ultra quick charge batteries to compete with existing all weather extended range FCEVs.

mahonj

It looks like a serious attempt with a new platform. The batteries are under the floor, leaving loads for space for the occupants and luggage.
VW are large enough to do this and still keep the current ICE cars going as well.
Now, if they could find the space under the floor for a range extender, they could get by with (say) 20 KwH of batteries and use the range extender for the rest. Replace some the batteries with the genset, fuel tank and exhaust. If it only has to run in a very limited rev range, it should be easy to do (for VW). 20 Kw should be enough.

Lad

The history of electronic devices show they get smaller,more reliable and more powerful as development continues; I expect this will be the case with the electrical components in EVs also. I think chargers, inverters, motor controls and motors will follow this trend and free up even more usable space. However, traction batteries haven't followed the trend so far and have been relatively slow to progress. We can use what we current have; but, we are still waiting for the breakthroughs that will push the technology into more common use.

Paroway

"It will take many years to go from 1X to 5X" Battery range is already good enough for the large majority of users. We only need to get to 2X to make them good for everyone. That and lower price and faster charging. All those things are happening fast. Not decades. More like 5 years. Tesla already has semis that will get over 600 miles before requiring 30 min. to charge up another 400 miles. The new chargers coming out are capable of 359Kw and more meaning as soon as the cars are capable it will take 15 min to charge.

Gasbag

The original Model T had a range of about 120 miles but a refueling time of about 10 minutes. The range, volumetric energy density, and gravimetric energy densities are currently adequate to satisfy most new car buyers requirements. The problem for BEVs is that the cost and recharge times do not meet customer requirements.

Engineer-Poet

If you're going to go PHEV, today's batteries are more than adequate (they were adequate 5 years ago).  Getting 2/3 of energy from the grid and 1/3 from a liquid fuel supply should be good enough.

You can even go totally zero-emission this way.  Assuming my scheme for a methanol-reforming, carbon-capturing SOFC range extender at 60% efficiency, the 8.95 MJ/liter of energy density in the combined fuel/CO2 tank comes to about 1.5 kWh/liter energy density at the terminals.  That's comparable to Li-ion at a tiny fraction of the cost.  The fuel may be more expensive but overall energy cost should be on the order of today's, maybe less.

charlesH

"If you're going to go PHEV, today's batteries are more than adequate (they were adequate 5 years ago). Getting 2/3 of energy from the grid and 1/3 from a liquid fuel supply should be good enough."

I agree with this. Most richer people who buy EVs (to virtue signal) also have a gas SUV. The PHEV configuration combines both functions in one car, at a much lower price point.

I just purchased Kia Niro PHEV. My driving is bi-modal, local miles electric and long trips gas.

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