Volkswagen completes design work on new EV platform

MEB design will help VW debut first purpose-built EV by 2020.

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Volkswagen has completed the design work for its modular, MEB platform that's geared specifically for electric-vehicle production, Automotive News Europe says, citing comments Volkswagen development head Frank Welsch made at CES in Las Vegas last week. Additionally, VW's Skoda and Seat divisions may use that platform for their own plug-in vehicle models. VW's Audi division is also considering employing the platform, though adoption by Volkswagen's Porsche unit is unlikely.

VW expects to start selling its first model specifically designed as an EV (i.e., not converted from existing conventional models such as the Golf and Up!) by 2020. Welsch added that the MEB platform may be used as a base for updated electrified versions of Golf, Tiguan, and Passat. Meanwhile, Skoda will debut as many as five plug-in models by 2025.

Europe's largest automaker is looking to further distance itself from the 2015 scandal that involved software that cheats diesel-emissions testing efforts and has cost the company more than $15 billion in US settlements alone. All told, VW and its divisions expect to debut as many as 30 plug-in vehicle models within the next decade.

Volkswagen unveiled its I.D. concept vehicle, which is based on the MEB platform and looks somewhat like the BMW i3 electric-vehicle model, at last year's Paris Motor Show. VW said at the time that the vehicle could go as far as 373 miles on a single charge. Additionally, VW will show off an electric SUV concept model at this year's Shanghai Auto Show, and is unveiling a microbus version of the I.D. concept at the Detroit Auto Show this month.

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