Volkswagen presents the Aero Sedan and studies the integration of the network for electric cars

We know that Volkswagen has been planning to offer a slippery sedan and station wagon variant based on the MEB platform for some time now. Although there have been several sketches and design studies, so far none showed the sedan in a near-production version. That all changed this week when the company released official sketches of the Aero sedan. The actual car will be unveiled in China on Monday, where the Aero is expected to go on sale in the second half of 2023.

The corresponding production model for the North American and European market will be presented in 2023, the company says in a press release. Production of the serial version of the ID. AERO for the European and North American automotive market will take place at the Volkswagen plant in Emden. Volkswagen has not announced when it expects to be producing this car in Europe.

Since the new sedan is based on the MEB platform, we can expect the car to have a choice of either a 58 kWh or 77 kWh battery. However, with its svelte styling, it should be more aerodynamically efficient than its cousins ​​ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5, which will allow it to have more range. Volkswagen says the new concept car “impress with its exceptional aerodynamics, elegant design and generous space”. He calls the car an “electric limo.”

Image courtesy of Volkswagen

Keep in mind that in April Volkswagen announced that it was planning upgrades to the MEB chassis that will enable a range of 700 kilometers (WLTP) and charging speeds of up to 200 kW. There is speculation about how much battery size would need to increase to make these projections possible, although the company has yet to acknowledge this fact.

Start of the Volkswagen network integration trial

Image courtesy of Volkswagen

Elli, the electric vehicle charging division wholly owned by the Volkswagen Group, and Mitnetz Strom, one of the largest energy distribution companies in eastern Germany, have now launched a national pilot project for the integration of electric vehicles into the smart grid. Initially, around twenty drivers of Volkswagen ID models. brand vehicles participate in research to show how electric cars can be part of the energy system of the future and use more renewable energy in the process of charging electric vehicles.

An algorithm developed by the companies uses price incentives to compare car charging plans with regional electricity production from renewables and available capacity in the distribution network. The resulting flexible grid usage aims to reduce the frequency of bottlenecks in the power grid and create financial benefits for participants.

“With this project, we demonstrate for the first time how electric cars can be synchronized with the electricity grid in a user-friendly way. The car becomes a mobile electricity storage unit for the grid operator. For drivers, the financial added value is generated via fare incentives,” says Niklas Schirmer, Vice President of Strategy at Elli. “By making electricity demand from electric vehicles more flexible, more renewable, locally generated electricity can be used.”

“Together, we support the energy and transport transition locally and invest in the energy future. Electric mobility and the energy industry work hand in hand here. Electric vehicles can run on green electricity and relieve pressure on the power grid where it is most needed. We can avoid bottlenecks in the local network by using newly developed software to allocate electric vehicle charging processes to available network capacities. The concept now provides us with important information on whether our approach is customer-friendly,” adds Dr. Michael Lehmann, Head of Process and System Management at Mitnetz Strom.

The results of the pilot test are expected in the fall of this year. To find out more, visit the European smart charging website. Essentially, the program is designed to respond to criticism often heard in the moody right-wing media that electric cars would crush the power grid.

This might have some validity if all EV driver plugged into a charger at the same time, just as the public water supply could be overwhelmed if everyone decided to bathe at the same time. But people don’t all plug in at the same time and digital controls can alleviate any network overload problems.

In fact, there’s a lot of renewable energy that’s wasted because there aren’t enough customers for it. In 2020, around 6,200 GWh of green electricity had to be reduced in Germany. Part of this surplus could be put to good use to charge electric cars. Volkswagen is helping to design the systems that will make this possible.

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