Christian Senger, director of Volkwagen Group's electric model line, is predicting a fast model rollout with the launch of the VW I.D. in 2020. Audi, Skoda and Seat will also build models on the new modular electric platform, the MEB, at an early stage, Senger told Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe.
What phase of electric mobility are we in?
We are in the market preparation phase. For VW, 2016 was the time to transform strategies into specific implementation plans. 2017 will be the year of major operational moves. We are now integrating and tying in our suppliers, and planning our plant expansion in detail. This will put a new generation of Volkswagen cars on the starting line in 2020.
Some suppliers don't want to incur advanced tooling costs over such a short time.
We are moving into shorter development times since electric vehicles are less complex. We have to shorten our time-to-market for electric mobility so we can be closer to the customer. We have to train our partners for this, and we have to train ourselves. And do it all very, very quickly.
The MEB (modular electrification platform) is your baby. What does it consist of?
The MEB puts the most valuable component at the center: the battery. That is why we are building cars on the MEB with long wheel bases and short overhangs because we want to create the maximum space for the battery between the wheels. The flat bottom battery has simple geometries and is capable of utilizing any cell format from any supplier.