Diesel, Hybrid/Electric, Reviews, Volkswagen

Digging Deeper into Volkswagen’s MEB Platform Plans

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Volkswagen walked journalists by way of its a lot-hyped electrification technique on the 2019 Chicago Auto Present, giving the automotive media a preview of the automaker’s plans.

MEB, which is an acronym for the German Modularer Elektrobaukasten, is the platform underpinning the corporate’s push from inner-combustion engines to electrified automobiles. The corporate intends to roll out 50 battery-electric automobiles and 30 plug-in hybrids throughout Volkswagen Auto Group’s 12 international manufacturers between this yr and 2025 as half of a bigger technique to area 300 electrified vehicle fashions throughout the dozen manufacturers by 2030.

That’s clearly an aggressive technique — one requiring a better look.

The standard caveat applies – VW was presenting to the media, so the corporate in fact put its best face ahead. That stated, the automaker confronted many good questions – and I’m joyful to cross good questions from the feedback on to VW. If a few of these queries stand out, and VW is prepared to reply, perhaps we’ll do a future submit.

Till then, right here’s a clearer take a look at what VW is making an attempt to realize.

Beginning with the fundamentals, the MEB platform might be centered across the battery. Drivetrains might be all-wheel and rear-wheel drive, there might be a central pc system, and no middle tunnel. VW estimates that trunk quantity will probably be corresponding to an inner-combustion engine vehicle.

That central pc will have the ability to present over-the-air software program updates, and there will probably be some degree of autonomous driving functionality. Clients may even have entry to further apps and providers.

Vary is all the time the important thing query with regards to EVs, and Volkswagen estimates the MEB platform will present at the very least 200 miles of range, with scalability as much as 300 miles.

VW expects the MEB platform to have the pliability wanted to underpin automobiles of various heights, lengths, and widths. That’s due, partially, to the beneath-floorboard location of the battery. That battery location will even permit any MEB-based mostly vehicle to feature an extended wheelbase and shorter overhangs than a comparable vehicle from the identical class. VW says it’s going to additionally supply more room in each the entrance and rear areas of the interior, in addition to a better seating place — once more, when in comparison with automobiles in the identical class, whichever class that could be. There’s additionally the choice of outfitting a vehicle with bigger wheels.

The selection of rear-drive or all-wheel drive is aimed toward fulfilling VW’s want for extra responsive dealing with. Rear-drive automobiles could have a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle, whereas not surprisingly, the all-wheel drive fashions may have one other electric motor mounted on the entrance axle.

Energy specs are tentative, however we have been advised that the primary rear-drive miles could have electric motors producing about one hundred fifty kilowatts of energy. That’s a hair over 201 horsepower.

Chargers might be Degree three, which suggests an eighty % “fill-up” will take beneath an hour. Nonetheless, VW expects most clients to cost in a single day at residence, utilizing a lesser plug. The corporate additionally expects to have EV manufacturing on-line at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee by 2022.

As is often the case in relation to OEMs talking on-document about future product, VW’s spokesman, Matthew Renna, vice chairman for e-mobility, North American area, was mum on rather more than the fundamentals. Actual vehicle varieties, names, and pricing are all underneath cowl, though Renna made it clear that pricing shall be aimed toward mainstream consumers, and never simply the properly-heeled.

It’s an formidable plan, to make certain. To not point out a response to the diesel emissions scandal that’s nonetheless rocking the corporate almost 4 years after it started. Fifty new battery-electric automobiles in six years appears about as formidable as me making an attempt to finish stage considered one of American Ninja Warrior, though, to be truthful, VW in all probability has higher odds of success.

As Matt identified earlier this month, VW feels it has economies of scale on its aspect, and tightening emission laws in Europe and China might push shoppers in the direction of EVs. Drawback is, whereas VW would appear to have a leg up, most of its rivals are additionally getting ready for any market shift.

The pliability of the MEB platform is the important thing to potential success. That flexibility might maintain prices low whereas additionally permitting VW to shortly add new fashions and variants to attraction to the broadest range of shoppers potential.

Volkswagen is betting plenty of its future on MEB. Nonetheless, given the regulatory local weather and the speedy advance of know-how, it’s not essentially a harmful gamble.

A minimum of Volkswagen hopes not.

[Image: Volkswagen]

– Digging Deeper into Volkswagen’s MEB Platform Plans –

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