VW reveals radical new future
Friday 19th March, 2021 - 12:27pm
Volkswagen Group has revealed plans to migrate all Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda electric vehicles (EVs) to a single platform by the end of the decade.
Under the Project Trinity plans we revealed last week, Volkswagen plans to have all of its current models on both the MQB (eg. Golf, Tiguan, etc) and MEB (eg. ID.3 and ID.4) platforms shift to the all-new Scalable System Platform (SSP) beginning in 2024. Not only that, but all models will use the brand’s VW.OS Version 2.0 operating software – which is two generations away from reality. The same is expected to be true of Audi and Skoda models, as the VW Group plans to have 80 per cent of all EVs built using the same batteries by 2030.
And it comes as production of the MEB is set to ramp up in the coming years, with 27 models planned to use the EV architecture by next year.
“Electrification and digitalization are changing the vehicle faster and more radically than ever before,” Diess said. “Economies of scale are absolutely critical for both issues. Our platform roadmap will put us in an even better position to tap the full potential of our Group alliance. By pooling the strengths of our strong brands, we will thus be able to scale up our future technologies even faster and maximize the number of people benefiting from them.”
Obviously the key to this plan’s success is the battery technology and production. In a not-so-subtle piece of ambush-marketing against Tesla, Diess announced Volkswagen would build six “gigafactories” (Tesla’s term for its battery factories) to ensure enough supply.
But the company also plans to create a new “unified cell” that it claims will cut battery costs in half, which would remove a considerable barrier in the uptake of EVs.
“We aim to reduce the cost and complexity of the battery and at the same time increase its range and performance”, claimed Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board Member for Technology.
“This will finally make e-mobility affordable and the dominant drive technology.”
Audi isn’t a passive member in the process. The premium brand is working on its piece of the SSP puzzle, codenamed Artemis. It’s a special project under the leadership of Alex Hitzinger, the former Red Bull Technology chief and Porsche LMP1 technical director who is transferring his extensive motorsport knowledge to electric and autonomous cars.
The flagship of the Artemis project is rumoured to be a new range-topping EV limo (possibly dubbed A9 e-tron), that would sit above the current A8 and compete against the likes of the new Mercedes-Benz EQS. It will sit on the SSP architecture and help usher in a new era for the German automotive giant.