Thrilling occasions within the EV enterprise. Over the previous 100 years, producers got here up with new know-how for inside combustion automobiles frequently — overhead valves, the self starter, energy steering, energy brakes, digital gasoline injection, variable cam timing, computerized transmissions, and the like. Now the identical wave of innovation is going on within the electrical automobile area, as at the moment’s producers race to convey new battery and motor applied sciences to market. Volkswagen this week proudly introduced a completely redesigned electrical drive system for its MEB-based ID. branded electrical automobiles.
The corporate says its new APP 550 electrical powertrain will enhance the efficiency of its rear-wheel drive electrical automobiles whereas including vary, due to its newfound effectivity. Volkswagen says it’s planning to ship the primary automobiles with the brand new 210 kW (280 hp) electrical drive system by the top of this yr.
The design foundation for the brand new drive system stays the MEB platform that kinds the premise for all the corporate’s ID. branded automobiles. Karsten Bennewitz, head of powertrain and vitality methods, mentioned in an organization press launch, “As a result of the obtainable area has not modified, we had been compelled to develop a brand new drive that achieves important enhancements in efficiency and effectivity despite being topic to the identical constraints. That was a fantastic problem for the workforce of Technical Improvement and Group Parts. The consequence exhibits that we had been capable of scale back the usage of uncooked supplies, whereas on the identical time attaining a substantial improve in car effectivity.”
Along with extra energy, the APP 550 powertrain additionally has extra torque — as much as 550 Nm (405 lb-ft) relying on the car’s gear ratio. The considerably larger torque gives superior energy each from a standstill and at larger speeds, due to an enhanced stator with the next efficient variety of windings and a bigger wire cross part. The rotor is supplied with extra highly effective everlasting magnets that give it the next load capability. The drive was additionally bolstered to face up to the better torque.
The newly developed inverter is ready to provide the upper electrical present wanted for better energy and effectivity. It acts because the controlling “mind” within the powertrain whose practical software program ensures environment friendly system processes. This is applicable to the clock frequencies and the modulation strategies for technology of the alternating present for the electrical drive motor, which permits the drive motor to function extra effectively below numerous load situations.
Extra energy and better present imply extra warmth. With the intention to improve the effectivity of the electrical drive, Volkswagen optimized numerous parts within the powertrain, together with the thermal administration system. The APP 550 has an vitality saving cooling system that operates with out an electrically pushed oil pump. The gear wheels of the gearbox and specifically fashioned parts for oil provide and distribution permit heated oil from the drive system to be cooled by the car’s coolant circuit. The surface of the stator is supplied with a water-cooled warmth sink.
The drive system with gearbox, rotor, and stator might be produced on the Volkswagen Group Parts plant in Kassel, Germany. Alexander Krick, head of e-drive technical growth, mentioned, “We now have been creating electrical drive motors and their gearboxes for 15 years now and have additionally been producing them right here at our location for over 10 years.”
Product and course of improvements within the electrical drive motor and gearbox end in a big improve in effectivity and efficiency, Krick added. “Drawing on our a few years of expertise, we optimized the general system via, amongst different issues, the usage of particular electrical sheets and customised machining processes, and had been thus capable of considerably improve effectivity.”
Small Volkswagen EVs Will Be Worthwhile
In a current interview with Automotive Information, Volkswagen model’s CEO Thomas Schäfer claimed that the ID.2all — a automobile that might be barely smaller than the ID.3 — ought to be worthwhile on the automobile’s €25,000 ($27,500) base worth. He added that he expects the ID.2all to have a revenue margin of no less than 6%. “We can’t have margins beneath 6 %,” he mentioned.
To realize its aim, Volkswagen Group will promote 4 small EVs — two from the Volkswagen model, one from Cupra, and one from Skoda. Volkswagen’s second mannequin primarily based on the ID.2 might be a crossover, adopted by a Skoda SUV and the Cupra City Insurgent subcompact. The ID.2 would be the least costly of these 4 fashions. The corporate says there may be additionally a battery electrical Golf within the works.
Volkswagen will construct all 4 EVs in Spain, with the ID.2 and the Cupra City Insurgent coming from the manufacturing facility in Martorell. The Volkswagen crossover and Skoda SUV might be assembled in Pamplona beginning within the second half of 2025. The corporate is planning to transform each factories to fabricate electrical automobiles in time to fulfill the anticipated starting of manufacturing. Volkswagen will supply the batteries from its new battery plant in Sagunto, which is close to Valencia, after that facility comes on-line in 2026.
Requested concerning the volumes, Schaefer boasted that Volkswagen doesn’t make automobiles beneath 100,000 items per yr. The deliberate manufacturing for every manufacturing facility is round 150,000 items, however that may be elevated to 300,000 per yr if there may be adequate demand for the automobiles. The batteries for the automobiles will also be sourced from the Volkswagen battery manufacturing facility in Salzgitter and from Northvolt.
Volkswagen’s battery cell subsidiary, PowerCo, will produce the Unified cells that can energy all 4 fashions. The Unified cells are prismatic, which Schäfer thinks they are going to turn out to be the trade’s customary. On this occasion, Volkswagen goes towards the development within the trade established by Tesla, which has dedicated to cylindrical cells for its future automobiles, notably these within the 4680 format. BMW has just lately additionally mentioned it can use cylindrical battery cells in its future electrical automobiles, and Basic Motors has altered its battery plans to make use of them in its Ultium battery packs as effectively. However Schäfer believes the Unified cells give his firm a big value benefit. Nonetheless, he says “getting a automobile beneath 25,000 euros that has no compromises with security and vary is actually inconceivable in the mean time.”
Along with the 4 small EV fashions coming from Volkswagen, Cupra, and Skoda, the Volkswagen model can also be engaged on an electrical automobile that can promote for lower than €20,000. The smaller mannequin will arrive round 2026-2027 and won’t use the MEB Entry platform that’s the foundation of the ID.2 and its company cousins. Schäfer says the corporate will develop a inexpensive in-house structure and depend on excessive scale and a downsized battery to achieve that worth level. He additionally mentioned the brand new entry stage mannequin might be collectively developed by Volkswagen and Skoda.
These are thrilling occasions on the planet of electrical automobiles. New applied sciences are being unveiled frequently, and the wants of drivers who want fundamental transportation as an alternative of grand touring machines are being addressed.
The most important distinction between the standard automobiles everyone knows and love and the automobiles we are going to drive sooner or later is vitality effectivity. For the previous century, the world has been driving automobiles that waste 75% or extra of the vitality contained within the gasoline that powers them. We as a species merely can’t afford to be so profligate if we hope to have a planet that may maintain human life.
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