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VW on countdown to 'people’s EV'

Volkswagen close to announcing ID electric vehicle model roll-out for Australia

19 Sep 2018

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia is just months away from revealing its plans for the local rollout of its new all-electric models that are expected to start with the mass-selling Volkswagen ID small car in 2021.
Skoda and Audi will be included in the wave of 27 new models to be launched globally by 2022 on VW’s new modular MEB electric-vehicle platform that has just been detailed in Germany.
Volkswagen says it is aiming to take electric vehicles from a niche offering to best-seller status, with plans to produce at least 10 million cars off the MEB platform “in the first wave alone”. 
VW e-mobility board member Thomas Ulbrich said: “We will make electric vehicles popular and get as many people as possible excited about electric cars.
“The MEB is one of the most important projects in the history of Volkswagen – a technological milestone, similar to the transition from the Beetle to the Golf.”
The company says it will start production of the ID in Germany in late 2019 for a 2020 launch in Europe, with Australian sales expected to follow in 2021, according the VW Group Australia corporate communications general manager Paul Pottinger.
“We are planning to reveal more about the ID model roll-out in coming months,” Mr Pottinger told GoAuto.
Like the original Beetle and long-running Golf, the ID has been designed for the masses, with pricing, user-friendliness and practicality to the fore under VW’s new mantra “electric for all”.
According to British reports, ID pricing will be about level with that of a high-end diesel Golf, which could mean a sub-$40,000 electric car in Australia if the same policy follows here.
The ID will grow into a family of vehicles under the Volkswagen brand, with the Kombi-style Bulli people-mover, SUVs, sportscars and luxury sedans all mooted for production as VW moves away from diesel.
Four VW Group brands – VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat – will share the modular MEB dedicated electric vehicle (EV) platform.
The MEB will have a scalable battery pack capable of achieving a driving range of between 330km and 640km, and being charged to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes on a fast charger.
VW has shown a stripped back ID MEB platform at a media event in Dresden, revealing the under-floor battery, rear-end motor and an inductive charging panel under the front end.
The rear-wheel-drive layout is reminiscent of the old Beetle, with the powertrain slung between the back wheels.
All-wheel-drive will also be available in the MEB platform for some models, with an electric motor driving the front wheels.
Economies of scale is one of the keys to the VW Group assault on the EV market.
“We are making optimal use of the possibilities the electric car has to offer and creating massive economies of scale at the same time,” Mr Ulbrich said.
“Some 10 million vehicles across the group will be based on this platform in the first wave alone. The MEB is the economic and technological backbone of the electric car for all.”
The ID will be a fully connected car, using 4G data networks for software update downloads, traffic safety alerts and other functions. It will have 5G capability built in to allow for that advance when it arrives.
VW promises the MEB platform will employ new-generation lithium-ion batteries, with the company planning to guarantee 70 per cent usable capacity over seven years.
After that, the batteries can be swapped out, with the old batteries recycled as stationary storage.
ID buyers in Europe will be able to shell out €300 ($A485) for an 11kW VW-branded Volks-Wallbox charger for the garage.
Apart from Germany, VW Group EVs will be built in China, the United States and Czech Republic, with the latter turning out Skoda’s MEB-based products.

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