In response VW has committed to make 1 million VW-branded electric cars by 2025 in a group total of between 2 and 3 million.
Another innovation that VW is planning for its electric cars is for every driver to have a VW ID (identity), which they can carry with them on a smartphone or key and will be portable to a different vehicle or hire car to allow their personal settings to configure that car, too.
The Golf-sized electric VW will launch at the Paris show later this month with a range of 250 miles on the NEDC cycle — the equivalent of 400km — around 90 miles more than typical in todays affordable electric cars. ‘A range of 400km is fine for normal life,’ says Senger.
Athough rivals will obviously respond in the coming three years and longer range VW variants will be introduced as battery technology improves.
VW will claim best in-class interior space for the new model, thanks to its all-new ‘skateboard’ chassis, known as the MEB, with batteries slotted between the front and reae axles inside a flat, sandwich-floor.
VW is talking about 240mm extra interior space over a similar-sized internal combustion-engined car, freeing designers to allocate more legroom to front and rear occupants. "This is only possible with the new architecture," says Senger.
Significantly it will feature an all-new electrical architecture based on a new Linux system set to become the industry standard. VW refers to it an "operating system", just as in computing. sats Senger: "It can combine the low and high-speed sides and currently you can’t do that."
The BEV will use conventional production methods and materials, which means largely steel construction to ease the path to production. ‘Construction will be the same as today. There won’t be any radical body concepts,’ says Senger.
Although VW says production at its HQ in Wolfsburg isn’t yet confirmed, Autocar understands the new BEV will be built at the home of the Golf.
But VW will have to find a clever way of dovetailing production of a huge volume of units into the vast Wolfsburg site, currently making 800k-plus Golf, Golf SV, Tiguan and Touran models each year.