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Volkswagen Steps Up Its EV Game, Announces Plans for 435-Mile Range MEB Vehicles

During the UBS Paris Electric Car Day this week, Volkswagen showed improvement plans for its electric vehicle platform. These include a higher range of up to 435 miles, faster-charging speeds, and better performance to compete with the best on the market right now.
Volkswagen announces plans for 435-mile range MEB vehicles 6 photos
Volkswagen announces plans for 435-mile range MEB vehiclesVolkswagen announces plans for 435-mile range MEB vehiclesVolkswagen announces plans for 435-mile range MEB vehiclesVolkswagen announces plans for 435-mile range MEB vehiclesVolkswagen announces plans for 435-mile range MEB vehicles
Volkswagen was the first of the traditional carmakers that pushed for electrification, thanks to the Dieselgate scandal. Its dedicated EV platform dubbed MEB already underpins three vehicles, with four more to come. But being a pioneer in the fast-moving EV field means you constantly need to push the technological boundaries. By now, the MEB platform has grown a little long in the tooth, though. The range, charging speed, and vehicle performance are no longer adequate for today’s standards.

Fear not, Volkswagen is working to bring improvements where they are needed. According to a presentation from the UBS Paris Electric Car Day, its electric vehicles, like the ID.4, will get better specs, including a range of up to 435 miles (700 km). Even if we are talking about the optimistic WLTP cycle here, this should translate into a real-world range of over 350 miles (560 km). If you recall, Volkswagen updated the ID.4 this year with an EPA range that tops at 280 miles (450 km), which is OK but nothing groundbreaking.

Where the ID family of models really suffer is the charging speed. Even with the most recent update, Volkswagen ID.4 can only charge at a maximum of 135 kW. This is significantly less than rivals from Hyundai and Kia, which feature an 800-volt platform and can be charged with 350 kW, at least in theory. Fortunately, Volkswagen is aware of that and will crank up the charging power to 200 kW. Not great, not terrible.

Most probably, the new feature will arrive first in the upcoming vehicles, like the Aero B. Nevertheless, it should also trickle down the existing range of electric vehicles rather sooner than later. The U.S.-built ID.4 will start production later in the year at the Chattanooga plant, but will probably not come with these enhancements.

 Download attachment: UBS Paris Electric Car Day Presentation (PDF)

 
 
 
 
 

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