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Volkswagen Group China today unveiled its first electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) passenger drone prototype, as part of its strategy to explore and break new ground in fully electric and sustainable individual mobility concepts. In 2020, Volkswagen Group China launched a Vertical Mobility project to explore the next generation of mobility solutions, including the urban air mobility market and the extension of urban traffic into airspace. After intensive research, conceptual work, and development, the project team has now developed its first validation model – the V.MO. This initial prototype has also been nicknamed the ‘Flying Tiger’ due to its distinctive black and gold livery, which was painted to commemorate its launch in the Year of the Tiger.

 

The prototype concept is based on existing autonomous driving solutions and battery technology for emission-free mobility. With a luxury x-wing configuration of 11.2m in length and a span width of 10.6m, the model features eight rotors for vertical lift and two propellers for horizontal flight. The Group will conduct several flight tests later this year to optimize the concept and an improved prototype will undergo further advanced test flights by late summer 2023. In its final future iteration, the fully electric and automated eVTOL could eventually carry four passengers plus luggage over a distance of up to 200km.

Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said: “Through this pilot project, we are bringing Volkswagen’s long tradition of precision engineering, design, and innovation to the next level, by developing a premium product that will serve the vertical mobility needs of our future tech savvy Chinese customers. This is a pioneering project which our young team of Chinese experts started from scratch – they are working with new design concepts and materials while developing new safety standards, disrupting and innovating every step of the way. The launch of this stunning validation model – the V.MO – is the first of many remarkable milestones on our exciting journey towards urban air travel, and a perfect example of our ‘From China, For China’ mission. Our long-term aim is to industrialize this concept and, like a ‘Flying Tiger’, break new ground in this emerging and fast-evolving new mobility market.”

Volkswagen Group China is rapidly expanding local R&D and software expertise to respond faster to what customers want and significantly accelerate the pace of innovation. The Vertical Mobility project requires interdisciplinary and innovative thinking in a new field, and the Group formed a team of young, local experts to drive it forward. They have been supported by Chinese partners including Hunan Sunward Technology, a subsidiary of Hunan-based manufacturing group Sunward. The company specializes in aviation product development, sales and services and is a market leader in the light sport aircraft industry.

Urban air mobility is a fast-emerging market which aims to utilize air space for short- and medium-distance connections, especially above and between large cities. In China, it is set to play a significant role in the future of urban and intercity transportation in its congested megacities. In the first phase of its commercial use, V.MO is likely to be pitched as a premium product for high-net worth tech savvy Chinese customers, for example for VIP air shuttle services. eVTOL air vehicles will be able to transport passengers more quickly and efficiently than current conventional means of terrestrial transport and with greater flexibility. As the Vertical Mobility project develops, Volkswagen Group China will work with the relevant Chinese authorities to achieve certification.

Article source: www.volkswagen-newsroom.com

Volkswagen of America (VWoA) today marked the start of production of its all-electric ID.4 compact SUV in Chattanooga, Tenn., the company’s first electric vehicle assembled in the United States.

 

The ID.4 is Volkswagen Group’s most popular all-electric model, with 190,000 units delivered to customers globally since its launch in 2021.Volkswagen aims to ramp up ID.4 assembly in Chattanooga to 7,000 vehicles per month later this year, with the goal to further increase output through 2023. Consumers can expect vehicles to be delivered as early as October 2022. Initially, the American-assembled ID.4 will be available in either rear-wheel- or all-wheel-drive 82kWh battery form. In addition, a rear-wheel-drive version with a 62kWh battery will go into production later in 2022, with a lower MSRP.

“We’re just starting to write a new chapter for Volkswagen in America, and it is very much an American story,” said Thomas Schäfer, Chairman of the global Volkswagen brand. “When we promised to bring Volkswagen EVs to the millions, it always included American workers building those EVs right there in Chattanooga. We couldn’t be prouder to see that vision realized today with our ID.4 electric flagship rolling off the lines. This is another milestone in Volkswagen’s ambitious electrification strategy for the U.S. market and globally.”

The start of production is the result of Volkswagen’s $800 million investment into the electrification of its Chattanooga factory, including dedicated facilities for vehicle and battery pack assembly. The factory in Tennessee is now the sixth global site to produce vehicles for Volkswagen’s electric line-up.

The American-assembled ID.4, Volkswagen’s electric SUV flagship, will be mainly sourced in the North American region, particularly the United States. The vehicle includes materials and components assembled in 11 U.S. states, from steel in Alabama and Ohio, to interior parts in Indiana and South Carolina, and electronics components in Kentucky and North Carolina. The EV battery will be supplied by SK Innovation located in Georgia.

As part of the preparation to launch the ID.4, suppliers have invested $2.7 billion throughout the North American continent, including the battery partnership with SK Innovation. More than 3,000 U.S. jobs on supplier side have been created.

“There has been a tremendous effort by thousands of VW Chattanooga employees to bring this vision to life,” said Chris Glover, President and CEO, Volkswagen Chattanooga Operations, LLC. “I’d like to thank all our highly motivated team members and the extended community of Chattanooga for supporting us as we begin assembly of the ID.4 for the North American market.”

Volkswagen Chattanooga employs more than 4,000 people, and is actively hiring more than 1,000 new production team members through 2022, to help meet high customer demand for the ID.4 and Atlas SUV family. To prepare for the EV transition, the factory has organized more than 75,000 hours of workforce training on batterypowered vehicle and high-voltage systems.

Volkswagen has committed $7.1 billion over the next five years in the North American region to boost its product portfolio, regional R&D and manufacturing capabilities. The brand will advance its electric line-up through 2030, including the Americanassembled ID.4 in 2022, a fastback sedan and the ID. Buzz electric microbus in 2024, and new electric SUVs from 2026. Volkswagen aims for 55 percent of U.S. sales to be fully electric by 2030.

 

Article source: www.volkswagen-newsroom.com

It was a car for connoisseurs, individualists and enthusiasts: Volkswagen launched the Phaeton on the market 20 years ago. From 2002 onwards, the luxury saloon fascinated with its confident, calm and collected character, excellent comfort, high-tech features and impressive manufacturing quality. Volkswagen took its first steps into the luxury car segment with the Phaeton and immediately proved that it was at home in this premium market. The Phaeton acted as a shining star that benefited the whole brand and paved the way for other premium products such as the Touareg and Arteon. Its farewell came in 2016 when the Brand Board of Management decided to discontinue the saloon in favour of a systematic re-alignment with a focus on electric mobility – although the successor with the project name “Phaeton D2” was already waiting in the wings.

 

Jozef Kabaň, Head of Volkswagen Design, today looks full of respect at the Volkswagen Phaeton D2, which never went into series production: “The car still has a very attractive appearance and beautiful proportions, and it impresses with its tangible high quality and value.” Together with his colleagues Marco Pavone, Head of Exterior Design, and Tomasz Bachorski, Head of Interior Design, Kabaň is currently responsible for designing the future Volkswagen models. Attributes such as quality and value, which characterised the Phaeton right from the start and underlined its premium aspirations, still play an important part at Volkswagen today.

The drivable one-off Phaeton D2 model was preceded by an internal selection process to choose from four different concepts. The design produced by Pavone and Bachorski got the nod, impressing with its sporty and flat contours and high-quality interior. The near-series prototype, which was based on the modular longitudinal matrix (MLB), was then built for the final decision by the Supervisory Board. However, since all energies were focused on aligning Volkswagen for electric mobility, it was decided not to proceed with the luxury saloon.

Even if the planned successor model was not realised as a result of this decision, the first Phaeton demonstrated what Volkswagen was already capable of 20 years ago with its luxury comfort, innovative drive systems and pioneering finish quality. It therefore achieved halo effects for the whole brand, which can still be experienced in many models right up to the present day. Tomasz Bachorski, responsible for the interior of the premium model back then, says: “The fact that the Phaeton D2 was ahead of its time can be seen today in features such as the curved display, which was planned for the Phaeton successor and which was launched on the market in 2018 in the Touareg’s Innovision Cockpit.”

 

Looking back on 20 years of the Phaeton – entry into the luxury segment.The project launched by former Volkswagen Chair of the Board of Management Ferdinand Piëch at the end of the nineties was ambitious right from the start. He wanted to open up a new market segment for Volkswagen with a luxury saloon and at the same time take the whole brand to a new level.

5.06 metres long, 1.90 metres wide, 1.45 metres high – these dimensions alone meant a place for the Phaeton among its competitors in the luxury segment. However, in spite of its size, its visual appearance was understated. Its flowing design with slightly domed roof lines created a timeless and unostentatious appearance. The only stand-out features were the round tail light clusters at the rear installed under rectangular cover glass elements.

Elegance and highest quality materials. The calm contours of the body accommodated an interior that exuded stylish elegance. Chrome, wood veneer comprising up to 30 material layers and leather – this trio came together on the selector lever of the automatic gearbox, which seemed as solid and powerful as the thrust lever on a motor yacht. Wooden panels covered the vents, which opened electrically and silently when required depending on the setting of the automatic air conditioner and solar radiation. The ventilation operated almost without draughts even at the highest setting.

Lounge on wheels. The interior of the Phaeton was a mobile lounge, in which uncompromising quality and premium materials were combined with lovingly arranged technical details. The vehicle occupants were isolated from the outside world by doors that closed with a satisfying thud and thick glass panes, while the gaps between components were extremely narrow and strictly parallel. The optional Dynaudio sound system also satisfied the ears of discerning hi-fi enthusiasts.

The Phaeton really came into its own on long journeys. Its standard pneumatic suspension with adaptive damping allowed it to glide smoothly and softly on the motorway. Thanks to its extremely high torsional rigidity, the body did not rattle or creak at all. The bonnet, doors and boot lid were made of aluminium. A Phaeton version lengthened by 120 millimetres with opulent space at the rear of the passenger compartment was also available as a chauffeur model. Individual seats with massage and ventilation were optionally available – like in the standard version.

The name Phaeton also symbolised the exclusive status of the large saloon. This was not just a reference to Greek mythology, but also represented a link to classic models from Horch and Ŝkoda with the same name.

 

The Gläserne Manufaktur as a transparent factory. At the start of production in Dresden in December 2001, Ferdinand Piëch summed things up in a nutshell: “In this location we will manufacture Volkswagen’s flagship vehicle in the luxury car segment. It will be possible to both see and feel the finest hand craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology here.”

Only the very best was good enough for the new flagship – and the same was also true of the production plant. The Gläserne Manufaktur was built on the outskirts of Dresden, an industrial facility embodying high architectural quality. The Phaeton was assembled almost completely by hand in light-flooded halls. The employees were clothed in white and many of them wore gloves. And the hall floors were covered with light mountain maple wood from Canada and dark German moor oak.

Two petrol engines and one TDI. The engine range rounded off the exclusive character of the saloon. Early Phaeton customers were able to choose between two naturally-aspirated petrol engines and a TDI. The entry-level engine was the compact 3.2 V6, whose cylinder banks were arranged at a narrow angle of 15 degrees to each other; it had an output of 177 kW (241 PS). The second petrol engine, the W12, was also unusually short – it was built in the form of a “W” using two V6 engines. This engine developed 309 kW (420 PS) from a capacity of six litres.

V10 TDI with 750 Nm. The most unusual engine was the V10 TDI. With a capacity of five litres, two turbochargers with variable turbine geometry, an output of 230 kW (313 PS) and a torque of 750 Nm, this engine made the Phaeton the most powerful diesel saloon in the world at the time. Like with the W12, the drive power was transmitted to all four wheels via an automatic gearbox and the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system; the 3.2 V6 came with front-wheel drive as standard.

The engine range was repeatedly enhanced over the course of the 15 years of production. In 2003, a 4.2-litre V8 engine was introduced for the luxury saloon. This was followed one year later by the 3.0 V6 TDI. This quickly became the most popular engine variant, and it had an output of 180 kW (245 PS) in the last version. The ten-cylinder diesel engine was discontinued in 2006, and the W12 five years later. And the 3.2 V6 was replaced by a 3.6-litre engine and a 3.0-litre version.

Always up to date. The Phaeton was kept up to date by four model enhancements, which were introduced between 2007 and 2014. They included new features such as a multimedia system with touchscreen, carbon-ceramic brakes for the W12, assist systems such as Rear Assist, Side Assist and improved ACC, camera-based Dynamic Road Sign Display and advanced main-beam control. For a few years there were also self-luminous number plates featuring electroluminescence technology. The major facelift in 2010 brought a new look at the front and rear, which was especially popular among customers in China.

 

Article source: www.volkswagen-newsroom.com

The Volkswagen Group increased its deliveries of all-electric vehicles by 27 percent in the first six months year-on-year and thus successfully continued its global electric offensive. Despite supply bottlenecks, a temporary stop of production in Europe and Covid-related lockdowns in China, 217,100 BEVs have been handed over to customers in the first half year, up from 170,900 in the prior-year period. The BEV share of total deliveries reached a level of 5.6 percent, up from 3.4 percent in the first half of 2021. The biggest growth driver was China with 63,500 BEVs – a more than three-fold increase versus the prior-year period.

 

In terms of BEV deliveries by region, Europe was still clearly in the lead, with 128,800 vehicles (share of Group total: 59 percent) in the first six months. Second biggest BEV market for the Group was China with 63,500 deliveries (29 percent). The USA corresponded to 8 percent of the Group’s global BEV deliveries with 17,000 vehicles.

By the end of June, the core brand Volkswagen delivered 115,900 BEVs to customers (share of Group total: 53 percent). This was followed by Audi with 50,000 vehicles (23 percent), ŠKODA with 22,200 vehicles (10 percent), Porsche with 18,900 vehicles (9 percent), and SEAT/CUPRA with 8,300 vehicles (4 percent).

The top selling BEV models in the first half of 2022 were as follows:

– Volkswagen ID.4/ID.5 66,800 units

– Volkswagen ID.3 26,000 units

– Audi e-tron (incl. Sportback) 24,700 units

– ŠKODA Enyaq iV (incl. Coupé) 22,200 units

– Porsche Taycan (incl. Cross Turismo) 18,900 units

– Audi Q4 e-tron (incl. Sportback) 18,200 units

 

Article source: www.volkswagen-newsroom.com

The Volkswagen Group and Siemens support the ambitious growth plans of Electrify America, LLC - the largest public ultra-fast charging network for electric vehicles from all vendors in North America. Volkswagen together with Siemens, the leading global technology company, is investing $450 million, valuing Electrify America at $2.45 billion. Through its financing arm Siemens Financial Services (SFS), Siemens becomes a minority shareholder in Electrify America with a low triple-digit million USD investment and will hold a seat on the board.

 

With Siemens, Electrify America receive its first external investor as well as an important strategic technology partner. In line with Volkswagen's NEW AUTO strategy, this step consistently accelerates the comfort, quality and expansion of the public charging infrastructure in the U.S. and Canada.

Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board Member for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components emphasizes: "With our additional investment in Electrify America, we are giving e-mobility in North America a further boost and consistently grow our charging and energy business. The plan is to more than double Electrify America's charging infrastructure to 1,800 locations and 10,000 fast chargers by 2026. Siemens' investment confirms our electrification strategy of making charging

and energy solutions available nationwide - to customers of all EVs. With its expertise and portfolio, Siemens is an important strategic technology partner for us on this route."

“Representing one of Siemens’ largest investments in electrified transportation, this strategic partnership with Electrify America aims to grow a collaborative ecosystem that propels EV adoption across the United States and Canada,” said Veronika Bienert, CEO, Siemens Financial Services. “Our unique ability to combine financial and technology know-how helps to fulfill Siemens’ commitment to decarbonize key industries, accelerate the shift to sustainable mobility, and do so in a way that’s accessible for all.”

The investments by Volkswagen and Siemens Financial Services represent a strategic partnership for Electrify America and Siemens: first, the capital investment will support Electrify America’s accelerated growth plans through technological advancements in charging and energy solutions across public, home and commercial offerings. Second, Siemens' investment strengthens the commitment to future collaboration between Siemens and Electrify America on technologies and services that will drive the expansion of high-quality, reliable charging solutions. As a full-service provider of e-Mobility charging infrastructure, Siemens eMobility offers the full spectrum of state-of-the-art AC and DC charging hardware, software and services - from residential to commercial to depot applications.

NEW AUTO bundles Group activities on charging infrastructure and energy services

With the NEW AUTO strategy, the Volkswagen Group has made charging and energy its core business. Like no other car manufacturer, the company is investing in the development of an open fast-charging network worldwide. By 2025, around 45,000 High Power Charging (HPC) points are planned in Europe, China and the USA together with partners. The product range also includes the entire range of charging solutions for private customers and companies – from the company's own wallbox and flexible fast charging station to charging services and innovative, smart green electricity tariffs. In the next step, Volkswagen will anchor the electric car as a mobile power bank in the energy system creating additional added value for e-car customers.

 

Article source: www.volkswagen-newsroom.com

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