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Volkswagen outlines its electric future

By raccars Published


Modern Beetle

Volkswagen will show off new EV concept in Paris at the start of a ‘Think New’ chapter.

Volkswagen is to reveal a new mid-size electric concept at the Paris motor show with the promise that the car will boast a minimum zero-emissions range of 250 miles.

The thinly-disguised car will be displayed under a ‘Think New’ banner and will be the first of a series of VW EV revelations set for the major car shows of 2017. A new family of Volkswagen electric cars are due to go into production by the end of 2019.

As big as the Volkswagen Beetle

The Paris concept car is being heralded as the third era of the VW ‘people’s car’, filling the ground-breaking footsteps of the VW Beetle and the Golf.

Jürgen Stackmann, the Volkswagen head of sales and marketing said that the Paris show would mark a new chapter in the VW story and, whilst the likes of the VW Golf continue to have a strong future, the new car will demonstrate a heightened focus on ‘leveraging technology’.

As it continues its recovery from the much-publicised dieselgate scandal, the Volkswagen Group has set its sights on being a world leader in the electric car market. The group wants to be selling between two and three million electric vehicles each year by 2025. This figure would constitute a quarter of overall Volkswagen retail sales.

The platform for performance

Many of the new VW EVs are expected to be underpinned by the company’s new ‘MEB’ platform. These can then be produced alongside current models such as the Golf and share its rear and front suspension set-up.

The new platform features a battery set between the axles, lowering the car’s centre of gravity. The architecture also aims to create as much space as possible for the occupants, according to e-mobility vehicle project leader Christian Senger, by offering more legroom in the back and more space for passengers and the driver in the front.

The design of the new car destined for the Paris show, together with its planned peers, also aims to go beyond simple practicality. Stackmann says that EVs must be ‘highly engaging’ and ‘highly emotional’, becoming a desired object and not just a means of transportation.

Senger has also revealed that the car will offer a minimum of around 250-miles in range but larger battery packs will also be available, offering 373 miles. The former would be a match for the ‘normal life’ demands of many people, whilst the larger packs could attract drivers facing longer commutes or people using electric cars in harsher climates.

Mimicking the Tesla’s performance-focused P85D and P90D, Volkswagen aims to offer a selection of power outputs to satisfy a range of demands.

Senger said that the company is currently working on reducing the cost of the batteries used and the group believes that, in the future, the price tags of electric vehicles will be similar to those attached to diesel cars today thanks to technological advancements and economies of scale.

The future for Volkswagen

Volkswagen’s vision for the future is not just concentrated on zero-emission vehicles, however. It also wants to make the maximum use of autonomous and connected technology.

VW wants to create a Connected Community of 40 million Volkswagen vehicle owners, with members benefiting from everything from precise traffic jam news to potential hazard information.

Senger claims that e-VWs will stay online continually and could use sensors to offer wider contributions to society through such capabilities as the monitoring of free parking spaces. Over-the-air updates to software will be used to keep the capabilities fresh.

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