Volkswagen Claims its EV Batteries Will Last the Life of the Vehicle

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【Summary】Volkswagen claims that their battery packs will last as long as the lives of company’s upcoming line of electric cars

Manish Kharinta    May 07, 2019 5:00 AM PT
Volkswagen Claims its EV Batteries Will Last the Life of the Vehicle
Volkswagen's MEB EV platform consists of a "modular" battery pack that can be extended as needed to offer longer range.

Battery depletion is an issue that electric carmakers around the globe have struggled with ever since the introduction of the first mainstream electric car. French automaker Peugeot even went on to offer to replace the depleted battery packs of its cars for a charge, once they have degraded past the estimated 5-year operation period.

Volkswagen however, seems to have a more efficient solution to this problem. Frank Blome, the Chief of Volkswagen's Center of Excellence for Battery Cells, claims that their battery packs will last as long as the company's upcoming line of electric cars.

However, this seems to be a very ambitious claim, considering that consumers expect their cars to be in service for at least 8 to 10 years.

Blome claims that for the upcoming range of electric cars, the company has effectively designed the car around the battery pack to utilize maximum space for power storage. He further adds that because the battery pack has now been moved to the underbody and sits between the front and rear axles, it allows the EVs to affordably achieve ranges of up to 340 miles (550 kilometers).

The Volkswagen I.D. EV concept.

Speaking on the efficiency of these battery packs, Blome guarantees that Volkswagen's new battery cells will retain a minimum charging capacity of 70% for 8 years or 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers), as long as drivers adhere to efficient charging practices.

These practices require owners to opt for normal charging in lieu of rapid charging and only charge the battery pack to a 80% state of charge (SoC) instead of 100%.

Blome also recommends recharging the batteries when the power level drops down to 50% and not waiting for the battery pack to drain completely, adding that it will also help increase battery life.

Blome explained that the battery packs of Volkswagen's MEB platform have a "chocolate bar" structure, which is comprised of a variable number of modules made up of individual cells.

The modular structure makes the design process more flexible, allowing the automaker to incorporate more modules into the system to extend the car's range, if needed. Blome also highlighted that this structure would make the production of these battery packs cost-efficient.

Commenting on the incorporation of solid-state batteries, Blome said that even though solid state battery packs are lighter and offer more energy density than lithium-ion batteries, their mass-scale production will not be feasible for quite some time.

He added that since solid-state battery packs are more economical, offering faster charging and longer range, Volkswagen might work on incorporating them in electric models by 2025 or 2030.

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