Volkswagen will launch production of the ID.3 - the first member of the ID. generation of progressive electric vehicles whose lithium-ion batteries will allow for a range of up to 550 kilometres - before the year is out, although the vehicle will not yet be available for sale in Europe.
Courtesy of Volkswagen
Future owners of ID. models won’t need to worry about the durability of their batteries either, as Volkswagen will guarantee that the batteries will retain at least 70 per cent of their usable capacity even after eight years or 160,000 kilometres.
Volkswagen consolidated its battery development activities at a Centre of Excellence in 2017. Among other things, the centre is responsible for ensuring that all batteries in the ID. family retain their maximum capacity over a very long period of time and are thus able to guarantee long-range operation.
“Our goal is to make sure the batteries last as long as the cars” said Frank Blome, Head of the Centre of Excellence in Salzgitter.
Volkswagen will offer the ID. batteries in different sizes, marking a completely new departure as compared to the approach taken with the brand’s current range of electric vehicles. If an owner of an ID. vehicle is not really interested in being able to drive long distances (for example because they mainly only drive short distances in a city), they can opt for a battery with a relatively low energy content. This, in turn, will make their vehicle less expensive. Those who frequently drive long distances, on the other hand, can choose a larger battery, which will make them more flexible in terms of how they use their car. Depending on the battery and vehicle type in question, a maximum range of approximately 330 to 550 kilometres (WLTP) can be achieved. Volkswagen also designed the batteries to be able to accommodate a charging capacity of up to 125 kW, which is higher than anything achieved to date in the ID.3 segment and ensures fast charging and shorter charging stops.
Volkswagen expects that around 50 per cent of all charging operations will be performed at home and 20 per cent at work. A new range of wall boxes were designed with exactly this relationship in mind. These charging stations, which can be installed at home or at a business, work with charging capacities of up to 11 kilowatts (AC). The advantage here is that the charging time is much shorter than with a conventional 230-volt power supply – the wall box has enough power to charge a battery up to full power overnight or in the course of a working day. Volkswagen also believes that 25 per cent of all charging operations will occur in public spaces and five per cent at recharging stations on motorways. Depending on the driving style employed, an ID.3 with the largest battery variant would only have to be charged twice on a trip from Hamburg to Munich, or from Turin to Paris (each trip is about 800 kilometres). If the battery is charged at a fast charging station with a high capacity, around 260 kilometres of additional range (WLTP) could be charged in 30 minutes.