Volkswagen aims for EV market leadership
Volkswagen is aiming to become a market leader in electric vehicles, unveiling a concept car which is previewing the first of a next generation of models.
Revealed at the Paris Motor Show, the I.D. concept is said to offer a hint of a 2020 production model, similarly sized to a Golf but to be sold as a standalone product.
It will be the first to use the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), which standardises components across different models and will enable lower-cost and quicker development of plug-in versions of cars including the Polo, Golf, Tiguan and Passat.
The concept has a 167bhp electric motor at the rear axle, similar to the layout of the original Beetle, supplied by a high-voltage battery under the floor. This will offer a range of between 250 and 360 miles to a charge, the company said, but with pricing to match an equivalent petrol or diesel Golf.
It also showcases autonomous driving technology, due for introduction from 2025, and internet-connected features, including the ability to have a cloud-stored user identity which remembers contacts, seat settings, climate control and media preferences, and transfers them between cars.
Dr Herbert Diess, chairman of the Board of Management Volkswagen Brand, explained: “In 2020 we will begin to introduce an entire family of electric vehicles on the market. All of them will be based on a new vehicle architecture which was specially and exclusively developed for all-electric vehicles. Not for combustion engine or plug-in hybrid vehicles. The I.D. stands for this new era of all-electric vehicles, for a new automotive era: electrical, connected and autonomously driving.”