The idea of near-silent cars that don’t emit toxic exhaust fumes was once a pipe dream for many, available to only the wealthiest in society, but very soon it could become a very eco-friendly reality. One of the most innovative designs on the market is Volkswagen’s I.D Concept. Here’s why we’re so excited about it.
A new era for electric cars
One of the factors that has previously held electric cars back is that designs were often simply electric motors inserted into petrol or hybrid vehicles. This resulted in companies including an electric alternative as part of their fleet but still primarily concentrating on their vehicles that use carbon belching internal combustion engines. To really make progress, electric transportation needs to be embraced as the only way to get from A-B. Volkswagen is putting forward a new generation of e-Golf next month, a zero-emission vehicle that will have a range of up to 600km on one charge. Packed full of technology, it will have all the creature comforts you would expect in a standard car but with the distinct advantage of an eco-friendly 125kW motor under the bonnet. This will be part of an all-new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). Soon the e-Golf will be joined by Polos, Tiguans and Passats all with electric engines of their own.
In addition to all this lovely eco-friendliness, in 2025 Volkswagen will make the e-Golf autonomous. Known as the I.D, the car can be put into fully automated mode with a press of a button that retracts the steering wheel into the dashboard. As the driver relaxes, ultrasonic sensors and cameras track what is on the road ahead. Volkswagen has boasted that when in autonomous mode, the car will be a mobile lounge. Interior space has been extended by putting the motor on the rear axle and the battery in the floor. There will also be many types of infotainment to keep passengers entertained on long journeys. Each driver will have their own Volkswagen I.D. and be part of a much larger driving community. Personal preferences will be ingrained into the car so everything from your favourite radio stations to ideal air conditioning levels can be set to the driver’s optimum setting. This is something many car manufacturers are currently devising and How It Works saw this innovative new technology first hand on a recent trip to Audi. There will also be an app to access cameras at home to see where you left something or just as an extra form of home security. The car will even be able to receive post if its owner isn’t at home, allowing the local postal service to gain access to the boot of a car via a handy app.
Perhaps the best thing about these new fleets like is that they won’t be any pricier. Too often the consumer is priced out of energy efficient alternatives but if the masses get on board, and have a design that will work in day-to-day life in return, it may finally be the era in which carbon emissions from the roads will fall. With Germany already pledging a ban on petrol filled cars within 20 years (see issue 92 of How It Works for more!), the future could be electric quicker than we might think.
This month’s How It Works includes a feature on the future of driving and don’t forget electric vehicles graced the cover of issue 90, so pick up that issue here for more on the future of transportation!
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