Volkswagen presented the chassis of its new electric model family ID. for the first time. The modular electric drive matrix (MEB) that serves as the foundation of the ID. chassis is a totally unique selling proposition for Volkswagen. It also clearly demonstrates the commitment that the Wolfsburg-based company has made to electromobility.
Unlike typical market practices, the ID. chassis is not a retroactively modified platform for gasoline-powered vehicles. Rather, it was designed from the very start with e-drives in mind. Volkswagen can optimally tap its technological potential as a result. What’s more, the design and the vehicle concept are more flexible than ever – the spectrum ranges from compact cars to SUVs and vans. “The ID. is a milestone in technological development. It will be the first fully connected, fully functional electric car that millions of people can afford,” says Christian Senger, the head of Volkswagen Product Line e-Mobility.
With its avant garde design, the ID. generation of zero-emission vehicles will impress customers with its range, something that will approach the level of today’s gasoline-powered engines. The ID. will be the first member of the family to go on sale in 2020 – a fully connected four-door compact car that will cost about the same as a Golf diesel. The interior dimensions and the variability of the ID. will simply rewrite class limitations, VW says. Driver and passengers will experience exceptional space comfort, comparable to the next higher vehicle class. This is all made possible due to an exceptionally long wheelbase and the resulting short overhangs. No internal combustion engine is needed, therefore the axles can be placed far to the outside.
A look at the ID. chassis reveals an e-motor that has been integrated into the rear axle and the battery that has been placed in the vehicle’s floor, among other things. This offers optimal weight distribution for maximum driving pleasure, providing the passengers with a comfortably high seating position at the same time. The power transmission from the motor to the rear axle is performed with a single-gear gearbox. Under the WLTP Standard, the scalable range spectrum for every ID. Model will be 330 kilometres to 550 kilometres. A fast-charging system with 125 kWh will provide significantly shorter waiting times and make it possible to go from a charge of zero to 80 percent within 30 minutes.
The modular electric drive matrix (MEB) on which the chassis is based will serve as the technical matrix not only for all models of Volkswagen’s ID. Family, but also for many e-cars of four other Group brands: Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. As such, the MEB will be used by five brands and in three regions of the world. “The modular electric drive matrix (MEB) is arguably the most important project in the history of Volkswagen, similar to the transition from the Beetle to the Golf,” says Thomas Ulbrich, the Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Brand responsible for E-Mobility. “It will be the foundation for more than 10 million e-cars throughout the Group in the first wave and will blaze our trail to the age of electricity.”