The Breakthrough of Electric Mobility

The Modular Electric Toolkit, improved batteries, new charging technology: How Volkswagen is advancing e-mobility.

It is one of Volkswagen’s unique selling points and at the same time an unmistakable sign of the resolve with which the company is moving into e-mobility: the Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB). The chassis of the ID.*, the first car designed specifically for electric drive technology from the ground up, has now been presented in Dresden.

“The ID.* is a milestone in technological development. It will be the first fully networked car that is completely suitable for everyday use and one that millions of people can afford,” says the head of Volkswagen’s e-Mobility division, Christian Senger.

The toolkit for e-mobility

The ID. family will offer impressive range figures roughly on par with those of modern gasoline-powered vehicles. The first model to hit the market will be the ID.* in 2020 – a four-door, fully networked compact car priced roughly in the neighborhood of the Golf Diesel.

Compared to the batteries used until now, one of the advantages of the MEB system is its scalability – in other words, it is relatively simple to integrate into ID. models with various different power levels. One example: If the user of an ID.* is less concerned with having a particularly long range – being a driver, for instance, who mainly drives in the city and only for short distances – a battery with a smaller energy content would be perfectly suitable. That would make the car cheaper. Those who drive longer distances, by contrast, would opt for a larger battery. This would give them greater flexibility. These are precisely the types of customization options that the new battery system makes possible.

And thanks to the aluminum housing, the battery of the ID. models is also very light, which in turn is good for range. Because the arrangement of the cell modules is similar to that of a bar of chocolate, the battery is also very easy to install. It also gets high scores for its charging performance of up to 125 kW – a value never before achieved in the segment of the ID.*, which accelerates the charging process and makes for shorter charging stops.

Increased charging performance (max. 125 kW) shortens charging stops to the length of a coffee break.

The charging infrastructure is key

The expansion of the charging infrastructure is a critical element in the advance of e-mobility. One important component in that process is the joint venture IONITY. In cooperation with the BMW Group, Daimler AG and Ford Motor Company, the Volkswagen Group is working via IONITY to establish a reliable network of extremely powerful fast charging stations along the European transport arteries. By 2020, some 400 of these fast charging stations will be in place as the “filling stations of the future.”

The Volkswagen charging points will also be outfitted with fast charging stations with a power output of up to 150 kW. At the same time, by 2020 the company will expand the network of charging stations in the parking lots at its production sites from the 1,000 in place today to a total of 5,000. Volkswagen is also working on offering electricity from renewable sources, wherever possible, at the company’s charging points.

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*The vehicle is not yet available for sale.