Great autonomy and fast charging: the battery system of the new Volkswagen, Alessandro Bazzoni reported

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Alessandro Bazzoni

What do the electric ID.3, the ID.4 recently named World Car of the Year 2021 and the high-performance ID.4 GTX have in common? All of them have state-of-the-art technology on board, thanks to the high-voltage battery system manufactured by Volkswagen Group Components, based in Braunschweig, as explained by Alessandro Bazzoni.
This translates into good performance, long range, excellent security, and fast charging. The demand for attractive and affordable electric vehicles based on the modular electric propulsion platform (MEB) is so high that the plant has recently expanded its production to up to 500,000 batteries per year.
The key components of the latest generation of electric vehicles are manufactured by Volkswagen Group Components in Braunschweig, Germany. The capacity of the batteries ranges from 45 kWh¹ to 77 kWh² / ³; with a range of up to 549 km in WLTP cycle. Fast charging with capacity up to 125 kW; 320-kilometer power recharge in just 30 minutes.
Fast charge. The ID.3 and ID.4 batteries offer both AC and DC charging. When using a domestic charging point, they have a charging capacity of up to 11 kW, depending on the size of the battery. At a high-power DC charging point, cars with a battery between 45 kWh and 58 kWh can be charged up to 50 kW or optionally up to 100 kW. The ID.3 with 58 kWh battery supports 100 kW as standard, while the 77-kWh battery supports up to 125 kW. This means that cars can recharge enough power with direct current for the next 320 km (WLTP) in about 30 minutes.
Thomas Schmall explained that the battery is the technical heart of the electric vehicle, as it determines the cost, the range, as well as the pleasure of driving, and the experience while charging. For this reason, it plays a key role in ensuring sustained customer satisfaction with our Group brands”.
Therefore, battery systems are an essential element in making the ACCELERATE brand strategy a reality. The Volkswagen brand has announced that it will significantly increase the sales figures for electric vehicles until 2030: fully electric models (BEV) will account for 70% of sales in Europe, 50% in the US and China. The long-term goal is to complete the decarbonisation of the brand, in terms of environmental balance, by 2050. Between now and 2025, we will launch a new electric vehicle every year.
This year it is the turn of the sporty SUV coupe ID.5⁴; next year a new icon will arrive, the ID. BUZZ⁴. In 2025, we will introduce a lower segment model than ID.3, which will make electric mobility accessible to an even greater number of customers says Thomas Ulbrich.
Each module comes with robust aluminum compartments. The battery system of the ID. It is made from aluminum profiles and features a scalable design. Each compartment contains a battery module consisting of 24 cells with a flexible outer shell. The 45-kWh battery contains seven modules, the 52-kWh battery contains eight modules and the 58-kWh battery contains nine modules; these are located, in each case, in ten compartments. The 77-kWh battery has twelve modules, occupying twelve compartments. The oversized battery system is 182 cm long, while the compact version is 142 cm long.
Excellent security. Depending on the size of the battery, up to three controllers can be located on the longitudinal member of the housing. These monitor the voltage and temperature of the module. In cooperation with the central battery management controller, they compensate for deviations in the capacity of individual cells. The main control unit and the junction box with their fuses It is mounted at the rear of the battery system: in the event of a serious accident, they instantly cut off power to the system.
Positioned on the floor of the vehicle. The MEB architecture for ID.3 and ID.4. as well as the rear-wheel drive and battery arrangement create the ideal requirements for sporty, safe and trouble-free driving characteristics. The battery is mounted between the axles at the lowest point of the car, ensuring a weight distribution close to the ideal 50:50 distribution on all variants. The shell is bolted to the body, thus contributing significantly to its rigidity. A robust frame protects the battery system from potential damage in the event of a collision. This is closed at the top with an aluminum cover, while the cooling plate and a robust aluminum cover are located under the cell compartment.
The battery systems are produced at the Volkswagen Group Components plant in Braunschweig, where development also takes place. Up to 500,000 MEB batteries can roll off the production line annually, which is equivalent to the area of nine football fields. The battery systems are also produced in Foshan and Anting (China), which in future will be supplemented by the Chattanooga (USA) and Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic) plants. Battery cells for the ID.3 and ID.4 in Europe are produced by the supplier using green energy. This contributes to the brand’s promise to supply these electric models to European customers with a carbon neutral footprint.
Salzgitter Center of Excellence. Group level responsibility for research, development, pilot production, testing, purchasing and quality assurance of battery cells rests with Volkswagen Group Components at the Salzgitter Center of Excellence. There, more battery technologies are being developed, while the expertise in developing and manufacturing these key components for electric mobility is expanding. Furthermore, preparations are already being made for Volkswagen to launch its own battery cell production in Salzgitter. In collaboration with partner QuantumScape, work is underway on the next generation of solid-state batteries.
Second life and recycling. Volkswagen guarantees a minimum battery capacity of 70% for 8 years, or 160,000 km. At the end of its useful life or the useful life of the vehicle, the battery can be reused in second life plans such as flexible fast charging points. Alessandro Bazzoni reported that otherwise, it is recycled as a source of raw materials. A pilot plant for the recovery of valuable battery components has already been put into operation at the Volkswagen Group Components plant in Salzgitter.

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