Volkswagen has announced plans describing how its new I.D. electric vehicle series will allow for more consumer affordablilty and in turn help accelerate the global growth of the EV market. The sales volume of battery electric cars rose by 60 percent in the past year, and 2018 could be the first year that newly registered electric cars surpass the one million milestone – a target Volkswagen is optimistic about.
“As early as 2020, we intend to sell 150,000 e-cars, of which 100,000 will be the ID. and ID. SUV,” said Thomas Ulbrich, member of the Volkswagen brand board of management, e-mobility division. “Speeding up the shift to e-mobility will help us to meet the extremely ambitious CO2 targets that have been set in Europe, China and the USA.”
Globally, more than six million new Volkswagen vehicles roll out of production plants and onto the road each year. The brand’s scale helps make technical innovations affordable for the masses – and it will be no different for the electric vehicles in the new ID. family. Volkswagen’s aim is to make electric cars attractive to as many people as possible, thus paving the way to mass electric mobility. In addition, the battery technology in the I.D. series has been completely revamped and enhanced, aiding in the push for a price drop.
“The ID. will prove to be a milestone in terms of technological development,” said Christian Senger, head of the Volkswagen e-mobility product line. “It will be the first fully interconnected electric vehicle that is 100 percent suitable for day-to-day use, and millions of people will be able to afford it.”
In addition, the company will offer scalable battery options for potential customers who are driving shorter distances like in the city or ones who have to drive longer.
The company isn’t stopping there, and understands that charging infrastructure is also a must for mass consumer adaption. So, the Volkswagen brand is building its own charging and energy ecosystem in the form of hardware and software for the vehicles’ environment as a whole – at home, at work, in the public realm and on the highway. As many activities as possible are bundled in-house in order to ensure the quality of all services.
According to current surveys, most ID. drivers in Europe will only have to charge their car once a week, as the majority of commuters do not travel further than 30 miles per day. Based on analyses by Volkswagen, it is estimated that around 50 percent of all charging processes will take place at home and another 20 percent will take place at work. Volkswagen will thus offer a modular program of wall boxes which can be mounted in carports, garages or company parking lots. The starting price for the Volkswagen wall boxes will be about $350, plus installation costs.
A quarter of charging processes will take place at public quick-charge stations, while 5 percent will occur on highways – in both cases at a rate of more than 125 kW. It will be enough to charge once for a 340-mile stretch. If the ID. vehicle is charged at a quick-charging station with the aforementioned 125 kW rate, charging will be completed in about 30 minutes.
In the future, the Volkswagen “WE” mobility platform will offer the “We Charge” app-controlled service to answer owner questions about charging. “We Charge” will ease range anxiety by showing the most suitable charging point, reserving it and navigating to it. The “We Charge” functionality is currently planned for the European market, and will be facilitated through Volkswagen’s shareholding in Hubject – eRoaming. The platform makes it possible to charge electric vehicles throughout Europe no matter who the provider is, and utilizes 300 partners and 55,000 charging points. Payments are currently made via RFID or smartphone app with a QR code. In the not-too-distant future, the system will be revolutionized with “Plug & Charge,” which uses block-chain technology to facilitate billing and payment for the charging process directly via the ID. model itself.