Momentum - April 2019 - 13



Volkswagen's MEB, an in-development
chassis designed strictly for electric
propulsion, enables a modular battery
layout that can provide a Volkswagen
Group electric vehicle (EV) with an
estimated 200- to 300-mile driving
range. Slated to debut in 2022 as the
underpinnings for EVs produced in North
America at the automaker's Chattanooga,
Tenn., plant, VW's MEB is intended for
compact to midsize A- and B-class
"What we're investing in with MEB is a
dedicated platform for electric vehicles
to achieve packaging efficiency, more
cabin space, and more energy," Matthew
Renna, Vice President of the E-Mobility
Product Line for Volkswagen North
American Region, said during a recent
MEB Workshop for media in Chicago.
The automaker's work with electric
vehicles dates back several decades,
but its 2015 model-year introduction of
the e-Golf was transformative with its
estimated 70- to 90-mile driving range.
Four years later, the 2019 e-Golf increased
the estimated driving range to 125 miles
via a 100-kW traction motor and 35.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack. E-Golf's
battery modules are packaged inside the
center tunnel, in front of the rear axle and
below the rear seats.
"Because the MEB is a dedicated EV
platform, we are not packaging battery
packs around existing systems and crash
structures as we have done with the MQB
[e-Golf platform]," Renna said, referencing
VW's modular architecture for transverse
front-engine FWD or AWD vehicles.
MEB gained engineering momentum
with lessons learned from VW's first allelectric compact car for the U.S. market.
"The MEB would not exist without the
e-Golf," Renna said, "We learned a lot
about how battery systems work, how the
chassis interacts with batteries, and how
customers use our electric car.
Flexibility and modularity are
hallmarks of the upcoming MEB. The
flat underbody is designated for battery


Photo credit: Volkswagen

The MEB platform will
be the foundation for
compact and midsize
Photo credit: Volkswagen

With standardized
placement of most
major and ancillary
systems, the MEB
platform enables
a high degree of

packaging, with auxiliary power units
for HVAC and other ancillary systems
integrated into the e-vehicle's front end.
The drive motor, power electronics, and
single-speed gearbox are packaged as
an integral unit.
MEB will be configured as a RWD or
AWD architecture for a variety of vehicles
(likely including 4-door sedan, crossover
and minivan) fitted with lithium-ion
batteries. "Our strategy is to use pouch
and/or prismatic cells because those allow
for packaging flexibility and we can cool
the cells more efficiently," Renna said.
The biggest engineering challenge
with MEB is on the software side. "For
us, the future of EVs involves over-the-air
updates, autonomous-driving capabilities,
and additional apps and services," Renna

said, adding, "We need all of the e-car's
smart devices to communicate information
under high-voltage conditions, and do that
in a really robust way. All of that work is
coming along very well."
The VW Group plans to invest $38
billion in electric vehicle technology,
which includes 16 dedicated e-mobility
factories around the globe. In North
America, VW's centerpiece for electric
vehicle manufacturing is its plant in
Chattanooga. By 2025, the VW Group
expects to launch no fewer than 50
EVs. The MEB platform will be used by
most VW Group brands, including VW,
Audi, SEAT, Skoda, and VW Commercial
By Kami Buchholz for SAE International's
Automotive Engineering

April 2019 13


Momentum - April 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - April 2019

Momentum - April 2019
Reliability overhaul: a lesson in resilience
Turbulence on the track
Full circle
Lap simulation tool shows the way
Baja SAE technical inspection
VW’s MEB platform: a modularity enabler
The F-22 Raptor gets its first metallic 3D-printed part
SAE 101: WCX 2019
Moon shot as metaphor for autonomous vehicle technology
DOSSIER: Greg Sawvelle
Momentum - April 2019 - Momentum - April 2019
Momentum - April 2019 - Cover2
Momentum - April 2019 - Contents
Momentum - April 2019 - A better MOMENTUM
Momentum - April 2019 - Briefs
Momentum - April 2019 - Reliability overhaul: a lesson in resilience
Momentum - April 2019 - 5
Momentum - April 2019 - Turbulence on the track
Momentum - April 2019 - 7
Momentum - April 2019 - Full circle
Momentum - April 2019 - 9
Momentum - April 2019 - Lap simulation tool shows the way
Momentum - April 2019 - 11
Momentum - April 2019 - Baja SAE technical inspection
Momentum - April 2019 - VW’s MEB platform: a modularity enabler
Momentum - April 2019 - The F-22 Raptor gets its first metallic 3D-printed part
Momentum - April 2019 - SAE 101: WCX 2019
Momentum - April 2019 - Moon shot as metaphor for autonomous vehicle technology
Momentum - April 2019 - 17
Momentum - April 2019 - DOSSIER: Greg Sawvelle
Momentum - April 2019 - 19
Momentum - April 2019 - 20
Momentum - April 2019 - Cover3
Momentum - April 2019 - Cover4