Volkswagen Planning 3 New Electric Vehicle Platforms by 2025
Architectures expected to form the basis of more than 30 models.
In order to reach its goal of rolling out around 30 electric vehicle models by the middle of next decade, Volkswagen plans to create three new electric vehicle platforms that will serve as the basis of its battery-powered fleet, the carmaker announced on Wednesday.
VW Group of America’s chief engineering officer for North America Matthias Erb revealed the plan at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars this week. The move is part of Volkswagen's recently-announced "TOGETHER – Strategy 2025," its post-Dieselgate game plan to sell 3 million electric vehicles a year by 2025 while also investing heavily in ride-sharing and autonomous-vehicle technologies. (It's also the strategy you can blame for the death of the Porsche/Audi V8.)
According to Automotive News, the three platforms—or "toolkits," as Volkswagen refers to them—will be highly adaptable modular designs, able to be stretched to different lengths and widths to accommodate all sorts of different vehicles. All three EV platforms will be designed and built around their respective battery packs, Erb said, regardless of size or configuration.
In fact, VW has already begun showing off one example of its futuristic electric vehicle platforms. The friendly-sounding BUDD-E concept car Volkswagen revealed at this year's Consumer Electronics Show rides on the company's MEB, or Modular Electric Toolkit, platform. (Based on our knowledge of VW's platform nomenclature, we're guessing MEB stands for Modulare Elektrische Baukasten.) That platform, which VW hauled out to show off to seminar attendees this week, is based on a flat floor packed with enough lithium-ion batteries to send the dual-motor BUDD-E 233 miles on a single charge. VW also claims it can charge 80 percent of the way in just 15 minutes, presumably using the same sort of 800-volt sorcery Porsche plans for the Mission E.)
Volkswagen has long been a master of platform engineering, adapting a single basic skeleton for use in a wide variety of cars for different nameplates and price points. The carmaker's MQB platform, for example, forms the basis of everything from the VW Passat to the Audi Q2, while the MLB platform underpins vehicles ranging from the Audi A4 to the Porsche Macan to the Bentley Bentayaga. This latest news makes it seem that won't be changing anytime soon—even if nearly everything else about VW does.