We’re in Wolfsburg today at the “Autostadt”, and
we’re going to do something very special because we are the very first to testdrive the VW ID.3. Precisely this very car. It is already very close to the production version. This is how it came out of the factory in Zwickau. So it’s not a handcraftet, custom bulit prototype. It left Zwickau like that. Well, actually we’re not really the first ever to drive it. German national football team coach Jogi Löw drove it already. And it has nothing to to with
this car that he’s in the hospital right now. So, what are we going to do with it?
We’re going to do a … … innovation check! We will check the car
in many respects and say whether the car is innovative, state of the art
or may not be as innovative. The interior concept Is the interior concept particularly innovative?
The car is based on a mere electric car platform. Therefore, it already has
a certain innovation in use of space. That’s good.
That’s much better than just using a petrol car platform and then putting an electric motor in it. Because then, there’ll be several things that
are needed in a petrol car but useless in an electric car. For example … well, sadly, I’m not allowed to show you. All that covered stuff. I’d really like to
show you, but I am not allowed to. VW dosen’t want the interior to be shown until the car’s official premiere at the IAA in Frankfurt. Now then, as I was about to say: Normally, in a petrol car with manual transmission, I do have a massive transmission tunnel.
I don’t need this in an electric car. Tesla is already doing this. They use this space for cupholders and storage compartments or simply for a more airy feeling.
And that’s what VW did with the ID. I can sit up front quite well here. That fits well. You don’t get the feeling of sitting high
on a large battery. The seat is now adjustet to … one moment please, just a little more backwards … to fit me comfortably. Now let’s take a look at the back seat! Ta-dah! The back seat. I’ll just get comfortable.
But I’ll hold my head a little bit tilted ’cause headroom will be checked later on.
What’s crucial for me now: I do have a decent leg rest. That’s okay. Of course there are cars that have more leg rest. That’s mostly because of the
battery that’s mounted in the floor. So the whole thing is a little bit exalted.
But as you can see: I do have legroom. That’s fine.
Now I’ll raise my head. And it barely touches the headliner. Now, I’m tall when I’m sitting. Therefore it is always a little difficult
with me when I sit up straight. I do fit in here, but I should not be one inch taller. But for everyone shorter than 6’4″ it will suit fine. Plus! Very important thing: There’s no cardan tunnel. Not a big deal on front wheel drive cars. But this one has rear wheel drive. So actually, with the usual constellation
with a front-mounted engine and the driven axle in the rear,
there needs to be a driveshaft through here. Well, not on this car, because the engine is in the back. So I have more room in the back seat. Now, let’s go to the back. Shut the door. And now we’re going to do something that not even
Jogi Löw was allowed to do before. He already drove the car,
but he did not … Ta-dah! … inspect the trunk! And that’s kind of funny.
Because usually, it is an absolute punishment for a car tester to check the trunk,
this black void. In this case, it is really quite interesting to see what VW has done with it.
Because the whole engine and trimmings is sitting underneath. So I need some room for that. The trunk capacity is … you can not tell exactly. I asked VW, but they, of course, didn’t want to tell me yet. But they told me that it is bigger than the Golf. So I have to speculate. Whereas, when I look at it now … you can come and look with me …
it does not look bigger than the Golf. Well, there’s one thing that I did not mention.
You can flip up the floor and then there’s a decent additional space underneath to accommodate a charging cable, for example. That now looks pretty decent. And surprisingly, the drivetrain down here does not narrow the cargo capacity very much. Now I have to estimate. Ha! So later you can nail me down to that when the official figure is released. But I would just say … 392 liters. 393. You can prove me wrong later. But that’s approximately what I gauged. So let’s close it all again. That’s a decent trunk … … for an electric car. I can stow quite much down there. Plus: There is no automatic tailgate.
At least not on this version. And guess what! I don’t like automatic tailgates. Because I am well able to grab it here and slam it down. Isn’t that swell? Somewhat ironic: an electric car without an electric tailgate. And I find it good. So, is the interior concept innovative? Yes, it is. Because it is a mere electric car platform which gives me a little bit more freedom. But nevertheless, there are a few restrictions.
For example the height of the footwell or the rear headroom – at least for rather tall people. Charging Now we have to talk charging.
Is it especially innovative? Is it especially fast? Let’s start from the beginning. We have here an EV charging station
with AC and DC charging. The AC charging is 11 kilowatts
3-phase current in the best case. What’s the ID capable of? Depends on the battery. Is it the large one with 77 kWh energy value?
Or is it this one wirh 58 kWh energy value? If that’s the case, then I can charge
with 11 kW 3-phase current. That’s quite good so far. ‘Cause if you have a wall box this powerful at home, you can charge the ID over night. It’s a little bit different for the small battery with 45 kWh. This one is capable of “only” 7.2 kW charging power. Normally, I would complain about
how this is not enough … … if the battery was bigger. But such a small
battery can still be charged over night. So that’s still okay. Although there
are some cars that charge faster. Tesla cars for example do 22 kW. Alright. So much for the 3-phase charging. Let’s move on to the DC charging.
This is the crucial one for traveling and long distance driving.
I just don’t want to spend hours at the charging station when I am on a long trip. Therefore, I need as much power as possible. Let’s think of some other cars. Which one is charging really fast?
The Audi e-tron, for example: 150 kW. We tried it out. It has a really high charging power
that’s top of the line at the moment. Porsche even advertises that they will have 300 kW charging power in the near future. But: we’re talking about very big batteries here. After all, the amount of charging power
depends on the battery’s size. The bigger the battery, the more power I can put in it. And that’s exactly what we have with the ID. Let’s just plug it in. Let’s take one of these CCS charging plugs. That is the ID’s charging system: CCS. Marvelous … er … I’ll take that way. Again, there are different charging powers: The big battery (77 kWh) is capable of a
maximum of 125 kWh charging power. Just because it’s so big.
How’s things back here? Still preparing. The medium battery (this one here)
and the small battery (45 kWh) are capable of “only” 100 kW charging power. If you use a modern Ionity or CCS charging station. That’s what you need. A modern one. Old charging stations like this can do significantly less. Just about … I don’t know.
It’s not on here … 20 kW to 50 kW. There are still many of these and they are still viable. But is the mere charging power really so decisive? Because there are several cars on
the market that can do much better. But what is even more important to customers: How many kilometers of range can I get
in a certain period of time? VW says: 260 km (161 miles) range within half an hour. That’s pretty neat. Especially if you compare it to other VW Group vehicles. Again, let’s take a look at the Audi e-tron: It has a range of 280 to 290 kilometers
(174 to 180 miles) after half an hour of charging Naturally, it also depends on the consumption. So, the decisive factor is not only the
maximum charging power, but also the power consumption of the car, to get a high range. And considering that, that’s a very
decent figure the ID offers. Of course there are still some that are faster. And that’s why it gets a “state of the art”
in terms of charging power. Dynamics Now we need to talk a little about
the dynamics of this car. Some basic information:
top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph). Now some may say there are
some electric cars that are faster. But once you drive an electric car,
you will notice very soon that it is not particularly clever to go that fast.
Because the energy expenditure will increase massively. The air drag increases
with the power of two. The energy that I need even increases
with the power of three. So, at some point, it is no longer fun
to go fast with an electric car. And that’s why VW has chosen to
limit the car to 160 km/h. That’s enough. And you still have a decent range, too. I’d say: that’s sufficient for an electric car. What else do we have? Acceleration from zero to sixty. Of course we don’t have an official figure yet. There is some speculation. Less than eight seconds. This, of course, depends on which
battery you’re sitting on. This is car has the medium battery with 58 kWh net. And the car weighs probably … approximately,
because VW doesn’t tell anybody … … about 1.6 tons (3500 lbs).
Pretty sure less than 1.7 tons (3700 lbs). Then you can calculate how it goes. That’s pretty good. Of course it won’t tear up the road. So if you expect Tesla Model 3
performance and acceleration … … nope, it doesn’t. But it has decent driving dynamics. Let’s accelerate once again. Well, that’s quite quick. This is fun. The engine has 150 kW (204 hp)
for a maximum of 30 seconds. That’s sufficient. You don’t go flat out for so long in
your average everyday driving. 310 Nm (229 ft-lb) of torque is roughly the same
as in a good turbo diesel. You can have some fun with that. Of course it doesn’t hit you in the back.
This is also due to that I’m not alone in the car, unfortunately.
There are a few other guys in here. The car is fully occupied. There is no other way
since VW won’t let us drive all alone. There are two engineers with us. And that’s why
the acceleration is a little bit muffled. But it’s still good enough to make me grin. And if someday I may ride it alone,
then it will still be a bit quicker. Unfortunately, we can’t do any crazy dynamic testing things right now. Cornering and such. I’d really like to, but I’m sure VW would roast me. But still, the car feels very safe in general. So the roadholding is fine. In general, it’s built just like a normal compact car. Independent suspension front and rear.
MacPherson struts in the front, multi-link suspension in the rear.
So that’s just state of the art. Why reinvent the wheel? It’s fine the way it is. The battery Alright, let’s talk about an electric car’s heart:
the battery. Because other than in a petrol car,
the battery is not only for starting and extras. In an electric car, the battery
determines many other things: Power. The more power I get out of the battery,
the more powerful is the engine. It determines charging speed: How much power
can I put into it in a certain period of time? It determines durability: The bigger the battery,
the longer its operational lifetime. Usually. On the other hand, larger batteries have some
environmental disadvantages. We’ll come back to this later on. The ID battery is special in many ways. For example its manufacturers: There are four different cell manufacturers
for this battery. One is located in China, called CATL,
but that is only for the Chinese market. And then there are three more,
SKI, Samsung and LG Chem, which are responsible for every other market.
That way, VW can optimize for any possible market. Much more interesting for me, however: VW together with LG Chem is currently building
a battery cell factory in Poland. So, soon we’ll have our own factory here in Europe. That’s a good thing, because up to now, batteries are delivered from Asia, mostly from China. Furthermore, this is a very modular battery concept. There will be three different battery sizes
available for one wheelbase. Meaning the space between the axles
remains the same. But it can be equipped with three different batteries:
45, 58 or 77 kWh. This one here is the 58 kWh version. That’s also the version we are driving today. And you can see here: There is a little bit of room left. Over there as well. I could fit a significantly larger battery in here. And having this opportunity to choose
between several sizes is a good thing. Many other car manufacturers only offer a single battery. Some others offer two. But VW offers three now on just one platform. And that’s great for the customer and
very innovative in my opinion. Now let’s take a look at the energy density. That’s a very important point. This 58 kWh battery weighs about 400 kg (882 lbs).
Now we can calculate. The gross energy content is 62 kWh. So the energy density is 155 Wh/kg … …battery-based, with housing and trimmings. That’s quite a lot. Cell-based it’s significantly higher than
200 Wh/kg. That’s really a great figure.
That wasn’t even thinkable some years ago. To sum up:
the battery is modular, its cells are assembled in Europe
and it has a very high energy density. And that’s why the battery is innovative in my opinion. Comfort Now let’s talk comfort. Noise comfort is a big deal in an electric car. Consensus: an electric car is always quiet.
Why should there be any differences? Well, there are huge differences. First of all, the engine.
Some make more noise, some less. The ID has a permanent-magnet synchronous motor which is rather quiet. Still there can occur some buzzing streetcar sound. That depends on how the engine is constructed and where it is located in the car. And also on how good it is muffled. In the ID the engine is mounted in the back.
So it’s rather far away from the driver. That is an advantage compared to a
front-mounted engine which is much closer. But even more important is how the car is quietened. That’s quite a challenge for the electric car designer. That’s what they call “NVH”: noise, vibration, harshness That’s the technical term for the study and modification of the noise and vibration characteristics of vehicles. Now, in an electric car there is, logically,
no combustion noise of a petrol engine which is always present during acceleration,
thus drowning other noises. You basically don’t have any engine noise. Therefore, other noises like wind noise, tire noise, creaking noises are much more present. So the designer’s task is, although there is basically no engine noise, to make the car seem silent. The human ear is very selective. You can now clearly hear what’s going on around the A-pillar. Is there some whistling from the wind? Now my first impression of the ID is … although the designers told me: “It will still make some noise since it’s not yet a production car.” Yes, I do believe that, but I still think it’s silent.
What should I do? Let’s accelerate once again. Turn up the volume on your mobile device and listen. There is perhaps some Windgeräusch at the A-pillar. Just a little. But we are already going over 100 km/h.
Otherwise, it is really quiet in here. There are electric cars that are much noisier.
There really are huge differences. Well, noise comfort is done. Ride comfort is next on my list. Where does ride comfort begin? We can argue about that.
From a driver’s perspective, it’s the seats. Seating comfort is very important. I am actually seated pretty neat in here. The seats are well adjustable, they offer a little
lateral support and they are nicely medium-soft or medium-hard, as one
may call it, padded. Fits well even for long rides.
What you realize now, going over these cross-grooves on the road,
is that the ride is not insanely smooth. This is not a Citroën DS. But it has a decent ride, which I think is good.
It responds well. Have a look here. Whoa! There! It’s always interesting to see how the
suspension smoothens that out. There should be a “wump wump” noise
rather than a “tock tock”. Whereas here is still a light “tock tock” in it. But in general, the suspension is alright.
It’s nice and agile. Comfort is reasonable. But it is still lacking some softness, especially when going over coss bumps. So it still needs little adjustments here and there. Of course we have to keep in mind
that this is a pre-production car. It’s a prototype. So VW is certainly going to improve most
of the things that I just mentioned. I find comfort at the moment … … 87 percent good. 13 percent still need to be added. Make the whole thing a little bit softer,
a little more gentle. The engine Is the electric motor particularly innovative? For electrical engineers this may seem like a very stupid question. Because electric motors are
extremely efficient in most cases In many cases, they are even considered
to be fully developed. Other than the internal-combustion engine
which still has a bit of potential. So, what is there to still be improved?
There are not that many operation principles for a three-phase electric motor as used in this car. There are actually two main principles: One is a so-called asynchronous motor. That’s a motor in which the electric current in the rotor
is obtained by electromagnetic induction. And then there’s the so-called
permanent-magnet synchronous motor. Here, the rotor is equipped with
permanent magnets and the rotation of the shaft is synchronized with the frequency
of the supply current. And the ID has such a permanent-magnet
synchronous motor mounted at the rear axle. Well, in and of itself, this is not at all innovative yet. It has a high efficiency and is very small
given its performance of 150 kilowatts. Equipped with smaller batteries, of course,
it has less power. Simply because the battery itself
provides just less power. Now let’s take a look at how this motor
has developed over the years. That’s rather exciting. Since we need to
go back to the e-Golf. The e-Golf motor makes 100 kW (134 hp)
and weighs 109 kg (240 lbs). The engine here weighs 90 kg (198 lbs)
and makes 150 kW (204 hp). So has 50 percent more power,
but weighs 19 kg (42 lbs) less. That sounds like a lot of innovation that has been put in there, like the result of hard work. Still, it is less about efficiency
which can hardly be improved any more. This kind of motor already has far more
than 90 percent under ideal conditions. Instead, the structure of the motor has been improved to provide more power while having smaller engine dimension and thus using less material. How did they do that? Once again, this is exciting. The e-Golf engine had a maximum torque
of 290 Nm (214 ft-lbs). This engine here has a maximum torque
of 310 Nm (229 ft-lbs). Not so far apart, actually. But where does the extra power come from? Rotational speed. Power is not caused only by force, but by force and speed. This way I generate power. And the new engine revs 16,000 rpm,
whereas the e-Golf engine only revs 12,000. And with that I generate more power. How is this done? Well, again the
VW engineers did not want to reveal. It mainly depends on the rotor. That’s the rotating part inside the motor. And since it has to rotate as fast as possible, it needs a small mass and a small diameter. Then I can create a particularly high-revving engine. And that’s probably what has been done here. The engine revs higher, has more power, more torque and is, moreover, much lighter. However, this still remains a normal electric motor. Meaning, it’s not extremely innovative,
but it is at least high state of the art. Before we move on to the next chapter: This little box here, the power electronics for the engine, is often overlooked. But it is crucial, with its fast high-performance switches in it, for how efficiently the whole system is running. And there’s still some potential for improvement. Make it less warm and thereby more efficient. And I’m sure this will happen in the future. Value Of course we have to talk price of an electric car. That’s quite a topic. So the question is:
Is the ID particularly cheap? Especially for electric cars you have to admit: Most of them are rather expensive for what they offer. You really need to want one. And that’s one reason why many people
currently still refrain and say: “I can’t afford an electric car yet.” There are already quite a few nice ones.
Driving a Tesla is a lot of fun, but it is expensive to buy. Let’s take a look at VW. The e-Golf was about €36,000.
With a range of just over 200 km (124 miles). That was quite a nice amount of money. For a good car with a decent range though,
but it still was a lot of money. Definitely not a bargain. And now there is the announcement that
the ID with the smallest battery, the 45-kWh net battery, has a range of 330 km
(205 miles) and will cost less than €30,000. This is much more affordable than the e-Golf. Of course, VW was never known to build
the world’s cheapest cars. But hey have always built cars that were good value. If it had to be cheaper, they left it to Seat and Škoda. But less than €30,000 for more than 300 km (186 miles) range is quite a good deal. Especially: There is EV funding: €4,000. So it’s around €26,000. And the average German pays €31,000
for a brand new car. Then again, it’s VW. Meaning, there’ll be an option list. So it’ll be easy to upgrade a €29,000 car to … … well, they didn’t tell me, but I know for sure that there’ll be an option list where you can tick some extras. So you’ll end up very soon in that particular price range. That’s not terribly cheap. But in my opinion, regarding my experience
with the car today, the way it drives and feels, … … it’s a reasonable price. Well, we have to stay honest. The car in which I’m sitting here right now has not the small battery, but the
medium one with 58 kWh and 420 km (261 miles) range, according WLTP. Plus, it has more power. 150 kW or 204 hp You won’t get that for less than €30,000. My estimate for this car the way it is equipped here … … little over €40,000. I’ll let myself be surprised when the official
price list is released. We’ll see. By the way, this is roughly the same
price area of the Kia e-Niro. MEB Is the Modular E-Drive System
(Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten, MEB) particularly innovative? We’re all making fun of VW, aren’t we.
All these abbreviations like MQB, MLB, and so on. But there’s definitely something behind it. Let’s start at the front. Having a mere electric drive platform is a good thing. You could just do it like Audi with the e-tron
or Mercedes with the EQC. Just take a petrol car, put an electric motor in and change the looks, … … but eventually, you’ll have to deal with
several drawbacks. And you’ll find some vestiges from the
petrol car age in an electric car. Somewhat confusing. Not in here. This really is a separate modular system which is good. Tesla, too, has its own platform just for electric drive. Now VW always tends to exhaust the idea of the modular construction system. Just think of the MQB, the Modularer Quer-Baukasten, for petrol cars with a transverse engine.
One very important aspect there is that the distance between the front axle and the, in this case not shown, pedalry always stays the same. So the front end can always be the same. And here, too, you have a fixed distance between the axle and the pedalry. Meaning the frond end can be used modularly. With the MEB, VW goes even further. On all other systems, the wheelsbase,
that is from this center of the wheel to here, can be changed. Now VW says: “No, we’ll have just one wheelbase, but we’ll have several battery sizes.” This has various reasons. Safety reasons for example. This way, you need only one safety structure.
It is also makes production a lot easier. And, in case you did a good job
on planning the platform, you can put many different types of car on it. This saves production costs and, hopefully, makes the car more affordable for the future customer. What else is different? Well, it’s rear-driven. Truly rear-driven. I often hear people say: “Woah, my car is rear-driven.”
But in fact, the car has a front engine and and rear wheel drive. That’s rear wheels drive,
not rear-driven (German nitpicking). Rear-driven means, it has the engine that drives
the rear wheels also mounted in the back. And that’s what we have here. Which is rather good concerning driving pleasure. This package can simply be installed in
various combinations. But how to make all-wheel drive? Well, you still got your front axle. And that is designed to fit another
engine in it very easily. However, this engine wouldn’t be a
synchronous motor like in the rear, but a so-called asynchronous motor. Meaning, the rotor is powered by
electromagnetic induction. This kind of engine is not optimal efficient
for part throttle. But they’re very very good for giving extra boost
for a short time. And that’s just as it is planned here.
There’s the permanent drive in the rear which is always running. And then there’s
the asynchronous motor in the front to give the car an extra boost or
more traction if either is needed. The asynchronous motor in the front
has “only” 75 kW (100 hp), but it’s enough to give me some supplemental power. However, that is not planned for the ID, but for other cars based on the same chassis. And this chassis is made for
other manufacturers as well which I find quite remarkable. Meaning other manufactures can ask for this chassis in order to put their own cars on top. Obviously you should look at this with a wink in the eye. The more they can build of this platform , the cheaper the production. Anyway, it is a very innovative chassis with many modular options. Yes – definitely an innovation! Even though we may smirk a little over here: Perhaps it has been noted already – this is a drum brake. Nowadays disc brakes are common practice. However brakes are obviously used much less in electric cars because I mostly slow down the car using recuperative engine braking instead of normal brakes. Hence, it won’t be stressed so much. This drum brake works pretty well with a regular slowdown. It doesn’t mean the car will decelerate worse. There are small cars that slow down excellently. The problem with the drum brake occurs with constant braking. This just isn’t a racing brake – definitely not. It will overheat much quicker than a more chilled disk brake. However – let’s not forget the concept. It is not a concept of a super dynamic car like a Tesla Jäger. Volkswagen really wanted to build a widely used platform for electric cars. Efficiency When we talk about efficiency, especially with electric cars, we need to take recuperation into account. Recuperation is very important when it comes to building an electric car that is very economical. And above all, an electric car can indeed recuperate – in contrast to the combustor. And if you recuperate wisely, you could achieve up to 20% less consumption, or vice versa, 20% more range. There are different strategies – I’ll show you with the help of this Volkswagen ID. I have to remove the camouflage, unfortunately you are not allowed to see this. But I can tell you it is looking good. There are two main recuperation modes: “D” and “B”. When I hit or release the gas in “D” – the car just rolls along. From an energetic point of view that is desirable. For example, on the highway: when I start speeding and then release the electric accelerator, I can let the car roll along. Thus, it uses its energy optimally. If I recuperated at this stage it would not be ideal. Because first I would charge the battery with the efficiency of the electric motor. Which then results into a charging efficiency. Afterwards I can feed the gained power into the electric motor. A lot of energy is lost in this process, depending on the speed range. Round about 50% of the energy is recuperated at the worst roughly 80% at the best. However, I still lose part of it. If I just let the car roll along, I lose less. Let’s have a look: I am in “D” mode, accelerate, and let the car roll. In the moment I hit the brakes, it starts recuperating – in “D”. It recuperates to approximately 2 m/s2 max. – roughly 0.2 g. There are other electric cars which perform better. Audi e-tron for instance: 0.3 g. Well, we have to keep in mind that it is a four-wheel drive with a power unit in the front and back. The ID however has its electric motor in the rear. If you are familiar with the brake application, you know that the front axle is stressed the most due to dynamic load distribution. The car’s front goes down. That is why especially my front axle is in charge of braking. At all costs I want to avoid an overbraking, that is no fun for a normal driver. Hence, it is limited. Maximum recuperation of 0.2 g is just state of the technology. It is neither very innovative nor a lot – but it is sufficient. The important thing is: you can use it in various situations. Alright – in “D” recuperation is only activated when I hit the brakes. Now I switch to “B” mode – here we go! I have not done anything, and yet the car slows down. Now I have a pretty strong recuperation by just taking the foot off the pedal. I release the electric accelerator and it decelerates quite a bit. This mode is ideal when I cannot roll along and hence not use my saved kinetic energy. In the city for example. When I stop at traffic lights, I would use the built-up energy to heat the brake discs. That is not ideal. If I go down a hilly road, I need to slow down the car as well. I cannot just let it roll along without harming car and driver. That is where the “B” mode comes in handy. The driver has to decide which mode to use though. Whether there may be a smarter recuperation system in the future perhaps with a route forecast like Audi starts implementing – I have checked with the VW developers. They could not or did not want to tell me – unfortunately. But in general this recuperation works pretty well already. And in “B” mode it decelerates quite a lot. Just release the electric accelerator. Recuperation is an important part of efficiency but there are others: weight, air drag, effectiveness. Let’s continue with the air drag and weight. Air drag: a Tesla Model 3 has a cw-value of 0.23. Obviously that’s world-class! This one can’t quite keep up – it is approximately 0.26x. A precise value has not been provided yet. However, there is something more important than the pure drag coefficient, which is the form factor of the car: what is the real air resistance? Meaning the combination of drag coefficient (cw value) times the front surface. I do not know the values yet. It has a low drag, whether it is exceptionally low in this class, we can’t say yet. Weight: there is little information provided by VW. I did some research though: the car is going to weigh between 1.6 and 1.7 tons. That’s not an awful lot. Especially the battery is pretty lightweight. The battery of the 58 kWh model weighs only 400 kg. The smaller version with 45 kWh is supposed to be even 90 kg lighter. Presumably this car will be 1.6 tons, the lightest version even less. Pretty outstanding in this class. Let’s take a look at the tires. Another very important aspect when it comes to efficiency. Lately, one thing really upsets me: seeing super eco rolling resistance tires with electric cars. They have a giant braking distance! Plus they cause a weird driveability. Just to generate a couple of kilometers more range. To me that is not just a bad compromise, but simply a wrong decision. It needs decent tires with a good rolling resistance, but also drive well. VW uses “Bridgestone Potenza”. This is not a proven low rolling resistance tire – especially not in this scale – it is a 20-inch tire – and i like this decision. So now we have the driving resistance, a low air resistance – whether it is exceptionally low, is still to be seen – obviously we have a heavier weight, it is an electric car with a heavy battery – but in combination the weight still seems low. There is no terribly low rolling resistance with these tires, but they are well suited for driving. So what are the actual measurements when you use it on the street? I don’t know them all by heart so let me check the papers. I have to admit: some are estimates because – I’ll start with the small battery: 45 kWh. It has an official WLTP-range of 330 km. Hence, we can calculate the internal consumption of the car, which is 13.6 kWh. So that is what the trip computer displays. With the medium-sized battery I have a range of 420 km. Which results in 13.8 kWh per 100 km consumption. – still internally. The big battery with 77 kWh and 550 km range WLTP – you have to be careful, that’s no actual value but still a test value – but WLTP is still pretty good, 14 kWh per 100 km consumption. We need to consider charging losses in order to compare these values with other cars. Because after being driven on the WLTP-test stand they are plugged in – which results in charging losses. and those are measured as well. Alright, I came up with a few numbers that are probably very applicable to these cars. Namely: for the medium model 14.8 kWh consumption. Let’s look at the competition: the Kia e-Niro for instance – the medium-sized model with a similar battery is WLTP officially declared 15.9 kWh consumption. And a basic Tesla Model 3 has 15.3 kWh per 100 km. Comparing these numbers, it is very economical in electric car dimensions – even for already economical electric cars. That would be an innovation. If it is true in reality – we will have to check in the future with a beautiful long-range drive. Unfortunately we cannot do that today. environment protection Is the production process innovative? And more importantly: is it environmentally friendly? VW released one significant sentence regarding the ID: “the car is manufactured carbon dioxide neutral on the balance sheet”. What does that mean? on one hand co2-neutral does not equal co2 free. Thus, the car has a co2 emission – and it is not just a little. But – if it is neutral, it absorbs the same amount of co2 it has released before. Creating neutrality. How does VW achieve that? With balance sheets. They support environmental projects. VW insists that it is real support – more than irrelevant paperwork in order to keep the process as a whole neutral. We can only take their word for it, we can hardly verify it. For me the awareness of a manufacturer is crucial – when they say: “Okay, we need to change the production of electric cars. It needs to become better and with less emission.” We have to rethink the production of electric cars in general. We can’t push this subject aside – thinking “there are many problems with a combustor as well – fracking is a threat to the environment, too.” That is correct, but does not make this production process any better. What else is there to say regarding the production process? One thing: VW claims they can manage to produce less than 125 kg co2 per manufactured kWh battery. This is a good value assumed it is true. The IFO Institute states 125 kg, which is a low value. If VW can slip even lower it is pretty good. This reduces the “co2 backpack” an electronic car has due to the battery production. Furthermore, let’s look at the materials: you can find cobalt. Cobalt is essential for the energy density of the battery – very important. This battery contains a relatively large amount of cobalt. We are talking about ten grams of cobalt per cell. That’s a lot, for sure! There are others performing much better: Tesla, for example, uses 2.8 grams. VW claims they have a different cell chemistry which is constructed in another way. They know they have a high cobalt usage and want to reduce it. What seems more important to them: they contact the raw material suppliers, for example in the Congo, trying to create clean supply chains. Cobalt is often extracted illegally in the Congo. Child labor and unlawful digging – it is awful. So manufacturers should’t turn a blind eye to this issue. I think it is good to be aware so you can address it and try to change it. Another point is the lithium in here. It is extracted mainly in Bolivia from salt lakes. Problem is: you need a lot of water. Thus, the groundwater level sinks – which is bad in general and affects the farmers. I asked VW about it and they say “We try to get as much lithium as possible from producers outside of Bolivia.” This implies that you can’t fully avoid certain sources at this moment. There is room for improvement. Well, the intentions are good – a few aspects have not been implemented yet. The factory for cells in Poland is still under construction for instance. It will run with renewable energy only. The same is planned in Zwickau. So there is a bunch of new ideas – which leads to my judgement: In theory VW’s eco-friendly production approach for this car is innovative. – in theory. In reality a lot is yet to be implemented. Alright – time for a conclusion regarding the VW ID.3 oder three. Honestly, I still do not quite like this name – but that does not matter right now. Basically, VW does not penetrate new markets and car segments quickly. The Tiguan, for instance, was launched relatively late in the SUV segment. The same with the Touran, which appeared relatively late in the minivan segment. But once they entered, they performed and sold pretty well. After promoting the e-Golf and e-Up halfheartedly – you could tell they weren’t really enthusiastic about it – VW now launches the NEB platform with full vigour, with billions at stake. And what I have seen so far looks promising. There are three aspects I find particularly innovative: one is the platform, or rather, the “Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten” – MEB, next the battery with its production and also in principle the power unit – I like it. Obviously there is still room for improvement with some aspects but one should be allowed to change for the better. So I am asking you: what about the ID do you consider particularly innovative and where are you expecting amendment? Comment below!