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Volkswagen to move to single global EV platform

Underpinned: All Volkswagen Group EVs will use the same scalable platform by the middle of next decade.

VW to move to ubiquitous EV platform by mid-2020s, Audi to stop ICE development

17 Mar 2021

VOLKSWAGEN Group has used its 2021 annual media conference to announce its plan to shift to a single modular EV platform starting the middle of the decade, which will eventually be used to underpin all VW Group EVs.


According to VW Group CEO Herbert Diess, the new platform – called the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) – will merge elements from the existing volume-selling MEB and upcoming premium PPE architectures, and by around 2035 will be the sole EV platform for VW Group vehicles.


The SSP platform is expected to debut sometime around 2025 with the Artemis project, a high-tech EV development undertaking from Audi that was first announced last year. 


SSP will also be used to underpin the recently teased Volkswagen Trinity, which was described as setting “new standards in range, charging speed and digitalisation” and featuring Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities when it was first announced earlier in the month.


By the end of the decade, VW Group says the SSP will be rolled out across all vehicle classes.


Along with its move to standardise platforms across its portfolio, VW Group is also looking to standardise software with the arrival of the VW.OS operating system in 2024, with the company’s software operation to be the second-largest software company in Europe behind SAP, with a target of up to 10,000 employees.


Battery tech will also be standardised, with a focus on a single, unified battery cell that will begin rolling out in 2023, and by 2030 will cover 80 per cent of VW Group EVs.


VW Group is also targeting a 50 per cent reduction in battery costs to make EVs a more attractive and affordable proposition.


In the meantime, VW will ramp up production of EVs underpinned by the MEB platform, which is currently done at the Zwickau and Dresden plants, and will be expanded to Emden and Hanover in 2022, and Wolfsburg in 2026.


Next year will also see the production of MEB vehicles in Chattanooga, USA, while the Anhui plant in China will start building MEB cars in 2023.


By 2022, VW Group will offer 27 MEB-based vehicles across its global portfolio.


The PPE platform will debut on a new vehicle next year, with VW Group promising faster acceleration, higher ranges and shorter charging times. 


Given its premium positioning, it will likely be used on Audi, Porsche and Bentley vehicles, particularly as the latter has announced it will be an all-electric brand by 2030.


PPE will be phased out by the mid-2030s as SSP becomes the ubiquitous platform choice for all VW Group vehicles.


Along with the EV platform announcement, Audi has also announced it has stopped the development of new internal-combustion engines due to European plans to introduce stricter Euro 7 emissions standards.


Instead, the brand will only focus on refining its existing powertrains to achieve a tighter emissions rating.


Speaking to German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Audi CEO Markus Deusmann said the new standards would place “extreme restrictions on the internal-combustion engine”.


“We will no longer develop a new combustion engine, but will adapt our existing combustion engines to new emission guidelines,” he said, adding that achieving the Euro 7 standard would be “technically a huge challenge with at the same time little benefit for the environment”.


Audi is yet to announce any plans to switch to an all-electric portfolio in the future, but has been steadily developing a number of EVs such as the E-Tron SUV, as well as the E-Tron Sportback, E-Tron GT and Q4 E-Tron, with a target of 30 electrified model launched by 2025.

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