Despite the topsy turvy world created by the coronavirus, Volkswagen is getting close to the time when its first electric vehicles based on the MEB platform will hit the streets. 5 long years after it disgraced itself with its diesel cheating scandal, the company is ready for redemption by being the first global auto manufacturer to jump into the electric car future with both feet. If everything goes as planned (when does that ever happen?), Volkswagen will be building and selling only electric cars in the foreseeable future.
The folks at PushEVs have taken a deep dive into the batteries that will power the first cars built on the MEB chassis and compiled everything we know about them in one place. To begin, here are the specifics on the battery cells themselves:
- Manufacturer: LG Chem
- Model: LGX E78
- Voltage: 3,65 V
- Capacity: 78 Ah
- Weight: 1.073 g
- Gravimetric energy density: 265 Wh/kg
- Chemistry: NCM 712
Volkswagen is planning to use three different battery packs in the first round of cars built on the MEB chassis based on those LG Chem cells. So far, we expect them to power the ID.3 hatchback due out this summer, as well as the ID.4/Skoda ENYAQ iV and the Audi Q4 that will go into production later this year. Here are details on all three battery pack configurations: Cars with the largest battery pack are expected to have a range of over 300 miles as measured by the WLTP standard.
- Total capacity: 55 kWh
- Usable capacity: 52 kWh (94%)
- Modules: 8
- Cells: 192
- Total Cell Weight: 206 kg
- Total capacity: 62 kWh
- Usable capacity: 58 kWh (94%)
- Modules: 9
- Cells: 216
- Total cell weight: 232 kg
- Total capacity: 82 kWh
- Usable capacity: 77 kWh (94%)
- Modules: 12
- Cells: 288
- Total cell weight: 309 kg
PushEVs notes that while the MEB chassis will be powered by LG Chem battery cells at first, the company has designed in the flexibility to utilize cells from other manufacturers in the future. SK Innovation will begin production of NCM 811 pouch cells in Hungary soon and both CATL and SDI are building battery factories in Europe. Perhaps cobalt-free LFMP cells could be used in MEB-based cars from Volkswagen in the future. Cell to pack technology could also be adopted at some point as the push to reduce battery costs continues.
The Skoda ENYAQ iV
The Skoda Enyaq iV is a twin to the Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV. In a recent press release, Bernhard Maier, CEO of Skoda Auto said, “The ENYAQ iV marks the beginning of a new era for ŠKODA, it is the figurehead of our E-Mobility campaign. With it, we’re making E-Mobility Simply Clever thanks to long ranges and short charging times. At the same time, the ENYAQ iV takes ŠKODA-typical virtues such as superior interior space, a trendsetting design and maximum functionality to a new level. Our first all-electric e-model based on Volkswagen Group’s modular electric car platform will be built at our main plant in Mladá Boleslav, at the heart of ŠKODA. This is an important step towards securing the future of the location and safeguarding jobs in the region.”
The ENYAQ iV will be offered with all three battery packs described above and in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations. Customers can choose standard or high output electric motors depending on their needs. The car will also have a towing capacity of up to 1,200 kg. The company notes all-wheel drive models will have a somewhat reduced range — 460 km vs. 500 km. The cars come with an 11 kW onboard charger and can obtain an 80% recharge in 40 minutes using a 125 kW Level 3 charger.
The ID.3 Owner’s Manual Revealed
For those who love nothing more than reading the owner’s manual of your new car from cover to cover, now you can get a peek at the manual for the ID.3 online in a YouTube video posted by Battery Life. Everything you ever wanted to know about the features and controls of Volkswagen’s first electric car — and more!