Volkswagen has announced a major push to manufacture millions of reasonably-priced, all-electric cars.
The German auto giant has previously shown off a variety of “ID” concept cars based on a platform it calls the modular electric drive matrix, or MEB. On Monday, VW (VLKAY) reiterated its aim to get them into production by the end of 2019—and said 27 MEB models would be in production worldwide by the end of 2022.
Overall, VW said it predicted sales of “10 million electric vehicles across the Group based on the MEB.” And that’s just in the first wave of models, which will include compact cars and SUVs under the Volkswagen brand, as well as offerings from Audi and Skoda, a spokesman confirmed.
“The ID will be a milestone in technological development,” said Christian Senger, the head of VW’s e-mobility product line. “It will be the first fully connected electric car with full everyday utility that millions of people will be able to afford.”
Meanwhile, board member Thomas Ulbrich claimed MEB was “one of the most important projects in the history of Volkswagen–a technological milestone, similar to the transition from the Beetle to the Golf.”
Volkswagen was once—in common with much of the German car industry—not very keen on electric cars. Then came the company’s 2015 emissions scandal, in which it was found to be cheating tests on diesel emissions in order to make its vehicles (including the aforementioned Golf) appear more environmentally friendly than they actually were.
The electrification of VW is key to its recovery as a brand. The company stresses that its MEB platform is “not a platform for vehicles with combustion engines that has been retroactively modified,” but is rather designed from the ground up for an all-electric future.
VW claims the batteries in its ID cars can all be charged up to 80% in just half an hour.