Volkswagen confirms that it’s on track to pass the milestone of producing 1million electric Volkswagen by 2023. It’s two years earlier than previously stated. Again, it’s a sign that VW is ramping up its electrification program, as witnessed by the pledge to launch eight new electric and hybrid cars in 2020.
- 34 new models confirmed for 2020 launch
- Including 12 SUVs and crossovers
- Plus eight electric or hybrid vehicles
VW’s chief operating officer Ralf Brandstatter said: “We mean business with e-mobility.” The brand will be investing 19 billion euros in future technologies through 2024. 11 billion euros alone in the further development of e-mobility. And Volkswagen starts the biggest electric offensive in the automotive industry next year. The VW ID.3 goes on sale in the summer, soon followed by the ID.Next which is the brand’s first electric SUV.
Volkswagen ID: It’s German for All-Electric
The electric ID brand is as significant to Volkswagen as the Beetle was in 1945 & the original Golf in 1974. In their different ways, they transformed the company. Can VW ID do the same at a time when VW is still being buffeted by the aftershocks of Dieselgate? This is a revolution in vehicle design and manufacture that’s about to get very real. The brand commits to putting its production ID on sale in 2020 for the price of a decent Golf Diesel.
In late 2018 a senior board member quotes that VW would stop building internal combustion engines by 2026. While VW isn’t dropping petrol and diesel just yet, its investment in electrification is vast. Therefore, there’s no turning back now. The only question is how long the electric and internal-combustion product likes will co-exist. The 5.3billion euro program includes 1.1 billion euro at its Braunschweig, Kassel, and Salzgitter sites, with a further 1bn euro at Zwickau. That investment in production capacity is necessary because VW expects to be building 100,000 ID models in 2020, rising to 10 times that in 2025.
Key to the program, which will see the roll-out of 27 EV models from Seat, Skoda, Audi, and VW worldwide by 2022, is its modular electric drive matrix of the MEB platform. This is the world’s first platform dedicated to electrification. The head of the e-mobility product line at VW told in the media interaction.
The VW Boss Speaks
VW’s head of electric vehicles, Thomas Ulbrich, reveals some of the detail at the FT Future of the Car Summit in London. He said the decisions are done. And, the planning is in progress. The brand will have the ID3 here in the middle of 2020. There will be 70 new fully electric VWs by 2028. Furthermore, the company plans to make an investment of 30bn euros in e-mobility by 2023. So, 22 million EV sales for the VW Group by 2028.
Though those look high figures, it’s the only way to cope with the future. The boss explains. Besides, there’s a huge challenge in the next decade to follow the Paris climate targets. In global emissions of CO2, the transportation sector is responsible for 14%. And within that 14%, VW is one percent. The company, therefore, decides to electrify its portfolio. The global EV market is gaining momentum. By 2025 the UK and Germany will be up by 15%, the US by 6%, and China by 17%.
Key to this is the MEB platform, which has different design opportunities, different wheelbase, including the ID3, SUVs, shooting brakes. The brand has roughly 15,000 pre-bookings in a week; in the UK, it crashed the internet. There will be 15 million MEB vehicles in the first wave, to 2025, at an average volume of one million a year, produced at eight sites (four in Germany, one in the Czech Republic, one in the US, and one in China).
However, the brand wants to see this platform shared by other OEMs so that smaller companies can join the electrified world. Everybody knows there’s a lot of hesitation, a lot of questions, about sustainability, choice of cars, price, range, charging. The electronic car is the most efficient and best way to reach the climate targets for a volume player.
The ID Range: Volkswagen’s EVs Explained
Each of the ID models, which will range from A-segment through to a saloon, SUV and a seven-seater, will have the interior space of the class above. Andreas Kohler from the MEB’s electronic project management team explained. With an anticipated 10 million vehicle sales across all VW Group brands during the first wave of electrification (and now the brand knows up to 22m by the end of the 2020s), there’s been considerable focus on component sharing and cost-cutting. The use of an all-steel platform will help; it’s far cheaper than a lightweight aluminum alternative.
But the big cost challenge will be in the less familiar area of battery costs. As VW makes the transition from internal combustion to electrification, it needs to not only master the use of batteries but secure a reliable, cost-effective supply of the raw materials, while being on the lookout for technological advances.
How to Charge Your Electric Volkswagen?
Volkswagen has announced a new mobile quick charging station that can be delivered anywhere to power its forthcoming range of electric cars. Designed to enable a quicker ramping-up of the EV infrastructure, VW reckons these portable chargers are a great way to scale up quickly and support events such as festivals where there might be a temporary need to charge electric cars. Each unit has a capacity of 360kWh and can charge up to 15 electric cars. The company claims.
Additionally, the company states that electric VWs will take an average of 17 minutes to fully charge. As a result, it will make ultra-fast recharging possible at 100kW. The pods are being trialed in Wolfsburg in 2019, before being rolled out to other cities in 2020 to coincide with the launch of VW’s new ID range of EVs.
How to Share Your Electric Volkswagen?
VW’s electric plans are well underway – but Wolfsburg has even bigger plans for how users will use its new EVs. VW launched WeShare in Berlin, an all-electric vehicle sharing service – and there are plans to expand it across Europe.
Right now there are 1500 e-Golf vehicles on the all-electric fleet, but they’ll be joined by 500 e-Ups and then ID.3’s next year. Like a few other car-share services, WeShare will be controlled digitally via an app. When car charge is low, WeShare will collect and charge vehicles. Later on, though, VW aims to offer incentives for those that recharge themselves.
With WeShare, the company has tailored car-sharing to meet the needs of users. It’s easy to use with 100% electric operation on green power. Christian Senger says who is one of the Volkswagen board members for digital cars and services. Adding to his comments, he says ” With such a consistent, broad offering, VW will stand out from the competition and will outstandingly position itself to participate in the expanding car-sharing market.
Right now the service includes 150km2 but that’ll grow as the fleet is extended. In the meantime, the service will be rolled to Prague, and then Hamburg in 2020.
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