Range Extended: Volkswagen Auto Group Announces MEB+ Platform

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Volkswagen Auto Group has plans to extend the range of its Modular Electric Drive System (MEB) platforms for electric vehicles.

The plan is not only to increase the range but also cut charging times -- and the platform will be renamed to MEB+.

The platform is scalable and the batteries are placed in the underbody, between the axles, to maximize interior space. VW is claiming that the platform will allow for up to 435 miles of range and charging speeds of 175-200 kilowatts. This will happen thanks to the company's next generation of unit-cell batteries.

VW wants to launch 10 vehicles on this new platform by 2026, including performance and premium vehicles. It's unclear if these will be global nameplates or not. Volkswagen also appears set to build an entry-level model that costs €25,000 (a tick over $26K at today's exchange rate).

There's other news to report: VW isn't talking about the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) that has been reported as the planned platform for an upcoming model named Trinity. That project may be delayed until 2030 instead of launching in 2026 as planned

Back to MEB+ -- the original MEB platform has been around since 2019, with 670,000 units having been sold globally. 500K of those have been ID models. Audi also uses the platform, as do overseas brands like Skoda and Cupra. Not only is it unclear how models riding on the platform will be distributed across global markets, the launch timing is also not known. That said, we'd expect it to be a soon as possible, with at least some models set for the North American market.

[Image: VW]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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7 of 17 comments
  • Jwee Jwee on Dec 08, 2022


    Wake me up when other loser "Legacy" automaker comes up with a "BETTER TESLA" BEV...

    Time to wake up.

    Stateside, the offering may be limited, but probably not for long. This side of the pond there are lots of better, cheaper options which is why in the Netherlands, the 2nd best European market for BEV, Tesla comes in 9th:

    Top 10 year-to-date (from '21) :

    1. Skoda Enyaq iV - 6,685
    2. Kia Niro EV (e-Niro) - 5,850
    3. Volkswagen ID.4 - 4,216
    4. Ford Mustang Mach-E - 4,148
    5. Lynk & Co 01 PHEV - 3,297
    6. Volvo XC40 PHEV - 3,097
    7. BMW iX3 - 2,833
    8. Ford Kuga PHEV - 2,573
    9. Tesla Model 3 - 2,561
    10. Polestar 2 - 2,527


    At the beginning of the year, EVs were about 70% of all new car sales in NL.

    Sales of Tesla plummeted when the gov't lowered the qualifying price for BEV that were eligible for a tax break.

    Elsewhere, in Jan '22 in Norway, the #1best European market for BEV, where 83% of all new cars are EVs, Tesla comes in... not at all. One month does not a year make, but here is Jan's registration for new cars, with only on ICE on the list and no Teslas:

    Audi Q4 e-tron 643

    Hyundai IONIQ 5 477

    BMW iX 444

    Skoda Enyaq 389

    Volkswagen ID.4 389

    Ford Must. Mach-E 356

    Kia EV6 356

    Audi e-tron 289

    Toyota RAV4 271

    Polestar 2 261

    Nissan Leaf 231

    M-Benz EQA 189

    M-Benz EQC 184

    Peugeot 2008 181

    Porsche Taycan 181

    Hongqi E-HS9 175

    Volvo C40 170

    Kia Niro 156

    Hyundai Kona 152

    Volkswagen ID.3 125

    Wakey wakey.

    • VoGhost VoGhost on Dec 08, 2022

      You really are cherry picking data to try to prove your point. And if you're short TSLA, we get it. But this is silly. You point to Model 3 not being the best seller in NED back in 2021, but omit the fact that the Model Y is the #1 seller this year. Just ridiculous.

  • Fred Fred on Dec 08, 2022

    Because these cars will have an ICE unit will they be able to claim a rebate? I'm thinking no, at least as the current rules here in USA are written.

    • See 1 previous
    • Fred Fred on Dec 11, 2022

      Yea I misread the article thinking it was about "range extenders" which are ICE units designed to recharge batteries. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Jwee Jwee on Dec 08, 2022

    @VoGhost - I appreciate the comment, but I am not cherry picking. I don't have a dog in this race. I was surprised by the data, which was the latest I found for Norway and NL. Call me lazy.

    Digging around instead of working, I found slightly newer data, but same story. In July 202, and in June 2022 (YTD), Tesla did not make the top 10:

    May 2022


    July 2020


    If you have better data, please post it. I gave links, so have a read. Tesla does better Europe wide, but Norway and NL are #1 and #2 EV leaders in Europe.

    Tesla dropped off the sales radar in NL because the became excluded from the gov't tax break when the maximum eligible sticker price was lowered to €40k. No Tesla's qualified, so a big incentive was removed for Teslas, with buyers shopping elsewhere. In Amsterdam, EVs are excluded from local tax, so there is an incentive to buy EV but not a Tesla or other high priced EV. I am not sure about Norway, but not a single sale in a month should be worrying. The data could be wrong, etc.

    My point is, contrary to the prior post, Tesla dominant position is quickly eroding here. There are plenty of good, or judging by sales, better alternatives in Europe, which is a new problem for Tesla. The same is possibly true in China, where Tesla is now offering incentives.

    As for shorting TSLA, I don't play a rigged game with Wall St traders laying their own dedicated fiber to shave milliseconds of transactions times, beating other traders with high-frequency trades. You can make money trading, and I have, but I also made money at Keeneland years ago and had more fun.

  • RHD RHD on Dec 08, 2022

    The Skoda Enyaq is priced at 34,600 Euros in Germany. If Skoda would like to dip their toes in the water at the other side of the pond, now would be the time.