The new electric SUV announced by Volkswagen will have a size similar to that of the Tiguan, which measures 4.5 meters in length, thus completing ID.4 and ID.5, which are currently on the market. To launch this project, the German manufacturer will dedicate an investment of 460 million euros to the Wolfsburg plant for the new production lines of the ID.3 and those of the announced model.
This new electric car will complete the range of Volkswagen electric SUVs, ranking by size between ID.4 and ID.5 (4,584 mm and 4,599 mm respectively) although it also indicates that its length will be close to that of the Tiguan, which is somewhat longer. small (4,509mm).
It will take advantage of the evolution of the MEB platform on which all-electric cars of the Volkswagen Group are manufactured. The MEB+ architecture will allow the charging speed to be increased by admitting higher powers and also greater range, as announced by the CEO of the brand Thomas Schaefer.
The MEB+ platform is an evolution of the MEB architecture in whose development the German group invested almost 5.5 million euros. This admits different types of vehicles and also batteries of various capacities: 55, 62 and 82 kWh made up of NCM 712 cells (70% nickel, 10% cobalt, and 20% manganese). The initial supplier is LG ES, although Volkswagen left the door open to other manufacturers and other more evolved chemicals.
The battery of the new model will use the standard cells that the manufacturer itself will produce at the Schaefer plant from the year 2025. For now, a schedule has not been specified that includes the official presentation of the model, the start of the campaign of marketing, and the first deliveries to customers. The new platform will allow range of up to 700 kilometers and a significant improvement in recharging times since it will admit powers of 175 and 200 kW in direct current.
To improve the production capacity and performance of the Wolfsburg factory, Volkswagen will add production of the ID.3 which will partially start next year. Production at full capacity is scheduled for 2024, although it will also continue to be manufactured at Volkswagen’s current factory in Zwickau, Germany.
The Wolfsburg plant currently employs 60,000 workers who still assemble combustion engine models such as the Golf, Tiguan, or Touran. The production of this plant, at other times the company’s flagship, entered a downward trend since 2015 when, from being capable of producing around 800,000 vehicles per year, it fell drastically to less than 400,000 with the coronavirus pandemic.
Volkswagen also confirmed that it is moving ahead with plans to build its electric flagship with advanced autonomous driving features under its Trinity project based on the SSP software platform currently under development. In February 2023 it will decide whether to produce the Trinity models at the Wolfsburg plant or to build a new factory for them.