From Audi to Volkswagen, the Group’s brands are focusing on e-mobility and developing more and more cars with electric drives. Here is an overview of the current e-models available as well as those set to be launched in the future.
The future of the automobile lies in e-mobility. Global sales of purely electric cars, so-called “BEVs” or “battery electric vehicles”, increased by more than 60% in 2017. In 2018, the threshold of one million newly licensed electric cars could even be achieved for the first time ever.
Volkswagen laid the foundations needed for electric drives to make the breakthrough long ago. The Group’s brands now offer a total of around a dozen models which use electric drive technology – either as BEVs with a purely electric drive or as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The number of models available across the entire Group is expected to at least triple by 2025. The goal is to manufacture electric cars for a broad market at affordable prices.
The technological backbone is a newly developed vehicle platform: the modular electric drive matrix or MEB for short. With the MEB, which Volkswagen has created for its ID. family, the brand is set to solidify its reputation as one of the best platform developers in the automotive industry. Volkswagen’s modular transverse matrix (MQB) is arguably the most successful vehicle architecture in use today. The platform strategy is now being brought into the age of electric vehicles. The MEB will not only be the technical basis for all Volkswagen ID. family models but also for many electric cars of the Group’s brands, namely Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
With the e-Golf1 and the e-up2 the brand already has two purely electric models available in its range with two major plus points: they feature sophisticated technology and are selling well on the market. However, the ID. family is at the heart of the future e-strategy. The ID. family will initially comprise four models: From 2020 on, the ID., SUV-Coupé ID. CROZZ as well as the seven-seater ID.BUZZ and the autonomously driving ID. VIZZION will be gradually introduced into the market.
Volkswagen is setting ambitious targets for its ID. family. The manufacturer hopes to sell 100,000 ID. and ID. CROZZ vehicles in the launch year alone. It will aim to sell 150,000 electric cars in total that year. That number is expected to increase to around one million electric vehicles by 2025. Volkswagen has developed powerful, efficient and scalable batteries for the ID. family. Together with the modular electric drive matrix (MEB), ranges of 330 to over 550 km will be possible depending on battery size and the relevant model (according to WLTP).
The Audi range already features a plug-in hybrid, the Q73. Two more are expected to be added shortly in the Q3 and A8 model series. The first purely electric vehicle, an SUV simply called the e-tron, is already being constructed at the CO2-neutral plant in Brussels. The second model, the e-tron Sportback, will be released as early as 2019.
The launch of the e-tron heralds the start of a real electrification offensive for Audi. The brand plans to sell 12 purely electric models in all major global markets and make around a third of its turnover from electric vehicles by 2025. The range is to extend from the compact class to the luxury class. Audi also plans to further expand its range of plug-in hybrid cars in the future.
Audi’s concept car, the e-tron GT concept will also celebarte its premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show in just a few weeks’ time. The technology behind this sports car was developed in cooperation with Porsche. Another joint project between the divisions at Audi and Porsche is the Premium Platform Electric (PPE). This will form the basis for several Audi model families featuring a purely electric drive intended to cover high-volume market segments.
Porsche offers plug-in hybrids in two different model series (Panamera and Cayenne4). This has paved the way for the introduction of the Taycan, Porsche’s first ever purely electric car, set to be launched in 2019. The Taycan uses the innovative 800-volt technology, just like the three-time Le Mans winner, the Porsche 919 Hybrid. It ensures that the lithium-ion battery can recharge energy for a range of 100 kilometres (according to NEDC) in four minutes. Porsche has also developed pioneering components to match. The integrated Porsche E-Performance includes the charging infrastructure with solutions for use at home and on the road. The Taycan can be quickly and easily charged with up to 22 kW over night at home with the Porsche Mobile Charger Connect. Inductive charging will also be an option.
Plans for a second electric sports car are also already revving up in Zuffenhausen: at its meeting on October 18, the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG decided to put the Mission E Cross Turismo concept study into series production.
Spanish subsidiary SEAT plans to launch its first purely electric car in 2020. It will be constructed using the MEB platform and is expected to boast long-range capability and fast charging times. There are plans for two drives with different power levels. The model’s name has not yet been confirmed. From a technical perspective, it will be similar to the ID. from the ID. family. SEAT will unveil the plug-in hybrid version of its Leon model next year.
ŠKODA will enter the electromobility fray next year when the Czech manufacturer will launch a plug-in hybrid version of its top-of-the-range ŠKODA SUPERB model and the subcompact-segment Citigo as its first ever purely electric car. ŠKODA’s next all-electric vehicle will be an e-SUV set to be launched in 2020 based on the Vision E concept study unveiled in 2017 and using Volkswagen’s MEB platform. It will have a range of around 500 kilometers. ŠKODA plans to have 10 electric models in its range by 2025, including six purely electric BEVs.
Bentley will provide luxury-class customers with a plug-in hybrid of the Bentayga model next year.
This brand is not expected to manufacture any electric vehicles until 2022. However, Lamborghini has unveiled its vision for a sports car fit for the third millennium with its design study Terzo Millennio.
Bugatti is also taking its time to launch its first electrically powered vehicle. The Bugatti Chiron is expected to be ready by 2024.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ purely electric models are called e-Crafter5 and e-load up!6 The e-Crafter has managed to retain its usual loading volume thanks to the fact that the battery management system and the lithium-ion batteries are integrated into the underbody. Thanks to its compact dimensions and nimble maneuverability, the e-load up! is ideal for inner-city use.
Fuel consumption value
- 1 e-Golf: power consumption, kWh/100 km: (combined) 14.1 (17-inch) – 13.2 (16-inch); CO₂ emissions (combined), g/km: 0; efficiency class: A+
- 2 e-up: power consumption, kWh/100 km: 11.7 (combined), CO2 emissions (combined), g/km: 0; efficiency class: A+
- 3Q7 e-tron: fuel consumption (combined) in l/100 km: 1.9 – 1.8; power consumption (combined) in kWh/100 km: 19.0 – 18.1; CO2 emissions (combined) in g/km: 50 – 48; efficiency class: A+
- 4 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid: fuel consumption (combined): 3.4 – 3.2 l/100 km; power consumption (combined): 20.9 – 20.6 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions (combined): 78 – 72 g/km, efficiency class: A+
- 5e-crafer: power consumption, kWh/100 km: 21.5 (combined); CO₂ emissions (combined), g/km: 0; efficiency class: A+
- 6 e-load up!: power consumption, kWh/100 km: 11.7 (combined); CO₂ emissions (combined), g/km: 0; efficiency class: A+