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Sandy Munro and Sabic Propose Ways To Reduce Weight in the VW ID.4

One of the best things about Sandy Munro’s teardown videos is that he does not stick with how the products are. The engineer also suggests how they could improve. With the ID.4, Munro had the help of Sabic to tell Volkswagen how it could have saved a lot of weight with the battery tray.
VW ID.4 Battery Pack 7 photos
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Munro invited John Waters to help. The technology and innovation leader at Sabic was the man that developed the thermoplastic tray for the GM EV1. That happened when he worked for Delco as the battery pack engineer, and Munro was also involved with the project.

What Waters did with the EV1 was a tray that could support 560 kg (1234 pounds) of mass and still be cheap, light, and safe. That came up when Munro organized a team exercise with both the Munro & Associates’ and Sabic’s teams to conceive a new battery pack for the ID.4, following the same guidelines that led GM to have the EV1 the way it was.

The pioneering EV was conceived by a team Munro called “the church.” These guys had set some goals for the battery tray, and Waters and his team came up with the thermoplastic solution that beat most of these goals. At this point, it is clear that developing a lighter and safer battery tray for the ID.4 got into thermoplastics as well.

Munro explained that by saying that the deal is to have the best material for each application. That is why he was so impressed by Ford’s SORB (Small Overlap Rigid Barrier) solutions for the Mustang Mach-E.

Using Stamax, a fire retardant thermoplastic, the team exercise imagined a battery pack case for the ID.4 that would save 62 kg (137 lbs) only for that component. The video’s title claims a 53% weight reduction, but these 62 kg are only equivalent to 12.7%. When it comes to the battery tray alone, it could be reduced from 72 kg to 43 kg (159 to 95 lbs). That’s a 39.7% weight reduction. We’ll ask Munro what this 53% reduction he mentioned refers to.

Whatever the correct number is, Munro’s point is that you can continuously improve the range of an electric vehicle with a lower drag coefficient, less mass, and a more efficient powertrain. Making the battery pack as light as possible would be a fantastic solution for any electric car to go a little further.

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