Volkswagen Group on Thursday revealed a next-generation electric drive module designed for the MEB platform that underpins the automaker’s mainstream EVs.
The drive module, code-named APP550, contains the motor, inverter, and transmission, and is designed for the rear axle of the MEB platform.
It will be rolled out in the fourth quarter starting with a vehicle from Volkswagen’s ID family of EVs, likely the new ID.7 sedan which is scheduled for its world debut on April 17 and a showroom appearance in 2024.
VW said the module delivers more power and torque than the current unit used in most ID EVs. An initial version will deliver 281 hp and up to 405 lb-ft of torque depending on the vehicle’s gear ratio. Current ID EVs typically run a rear motor rated at 201 hp.
Volkswagen ID.7 prototype (Euro spec)
To boost performance, the motor’s stator features a higher effective number of windings and a larger wire cross-section. The rotor also features more powerful permanent magnets with a higher load capacity. Another key factor is the inverter’s ability to supply the high phase currents required for higher output.
The controlling software of the inverter, primarily for the clock frequencies and modulation methods for generating the current, was also tweaked to improve efficiency, VW Group said. Various thermal management systems in the drive modules were also improved, which in turn results in improved efficiency. It means the drive module will help deliver more range, according to the automaker.
VW Group is also working on an updated version of the MEB platform. Dubbed MEB+, the platform will support a common battery cell design, and deliver more range and higher charging rates.