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“We want to be the first port of call for e-mobility”

Christian Senger, head of the e-Mobility vehicle series, explains in this interview what mobility could look like the day after tomorrow, and how he and his team intend to contribute to the next chapter in the brand’s success.

The I.D. merges the real world with the digital world, says Christian Senger.

Mr. Senger, mobility the day after tomorrow – what do you think it will look like?
I think of vehicles that in many ways look very different from those that we see around us today. To be more specific, I see cars with an emissions-free range of up to 600 kilometers, making them more appealing to the mass market, cars with a lounge-type feel and lots of space inside. As well as the car, I think of a digital ecosystem in which the vehicle is fully connected, a brand-new design with very few overhangs, a new, innovative design language with compact proportions. And, of course, I think of fully automated driving.

In short, everything Volkswagen is showing with the I.D. in Paris. What is the concept based on?
The I.D. stands for a new era of electric mobility at Volkswagen. It is the first member of a whole family of fully electric and fully connected vehicles. We are targeting the mass market, which means that our focus during the design phase was well and truly on our customers’ needs. A vehicle key? No longer necessary. In the future, the user will log into the vehicle using their own Volkswagen ID. The I.D. will merge the real world with the digital world in the future, for example by adding augmented reality to the Head-Up display. This means that we can project information onto the road several meters in front of the car. The navigation arrows sit precisely at the points where the I.D. is headed, making the driving experience both comfortable and safe.

At the start of the year, Volkswagen unveiled the BUDD-e. How do the two cars fit together?
The BUDD-e is a visionary prototype. The focus was on showing the world what is technically feasible – for example, when it comes to the Human Machine Interface (HMI). Of course, there are areas of crossover with the I.D. – for example, in the field of connectivity. But the main difference is that the I.D. is already looking ahead to features we can actually bring into our series production. 

You said that the I.D. is the first member of a whole family of electric cars. What else can we expect?
We want to produce a million electric vehicles by 2025. Volkswagen hopes to be every customer’s first port of call when it comes to electric mobility. This means that we will be offering suitable products and services in all of the relevant segments. What would a purely electric crossover SUV look like, for instance? We are taking a wide-reaching approach to this question and thinking far into the future. We want to have a long-lasting, positive effect on the way people perceive Volkswagen, thus opening up a new chapter for the brand.

Let’s take one last look at fully automated driving. The I.D. will also come in this mode. Why is that?
Because it has many advantages. You save time and improve your quality of life because you can use your time in the car more efficiently. The risk of accidents falls, – particularly in stop-and-go traffic, when parking or leaving a parking space, or in unexpected, dangerous situations. And last but not least, fully automated driving means mobility for everyone, including older people, people with physical disabilities and even children.

» The I.D. stands for a new era of electric mobility at Volkswagen. «