Volkswagen MEB details

Modular electric drive matrix (MEB) by Volkswagen

For several reasons Volkswagen has been criticized by the electric vehicle community, including myself. Not only due to the shameful dieselgate, but also because the automaker has been leading the transition to electric cars only in the press release category, a lot of talk and very little done. Until recently VW was a synonym for vaporware…

However, I recognize the merit when I see it, and Volkswagen’s MEB platform has its merits. In my opinion it’s the best thing we will get for electric cars from European automakers in the short term.


In this article I’ll focus on just one component of the MEB platform…


Yes, you guessed it right, it’s the battery cells. Now let’s see the interesting stuff!


Components in Volkswagen MEB platform


Battery cells side by side for better heat dissipation, exactly as it should be. Moving on…


We already know that the Volkswagen ID.4 and its sibling Škoda Enyaq iV will be available with three different battery capacities. The battery packs are made with modules and each module has 24 battery cells.


Battery cell

  • Manufacturer: LG Chem
  • Model: LGX E78
  • Voltage: 3,65 V
  • Capacity: 78 Ah
  • Weight: 1.073 g
  • Gravimetric energy density: 265 Wh/kg
  • Chemistry: NCM 712


Battery pack (low capacity)

  • Total capacity: 55 kWh
  • Usable capacity: 52 kWh (94 %)
  • Modules: 8
  • Cells: 192 (96s2p)
  • Total cell weight: 206 kg
  • TMS: active liquid cooling


As a side note, this exactly the same battery configuration we have in the new generation Renault ZOE.


Battery pack (medium capacity)

  • Total capacity: 62 kWh
  • Usable capacity: 58 kWh (94 %)
  • Modules: 9
  • Cells: 216 (108s2p)
  • Total cell weight: 232 kg
  • TMS: active liquid cooling


This battery pack has the highest voltage of the three. Great for DC fast charging.


Battery pack (high capacity)

  • Total capacity: 82 kWh
  • Usable capacity: 77 kWh (94 %)
  • Modules: 12
  • Cells: 288 (96s3p)
  • Total cell weight: 309 kg
  • TMS: active liquid cooling


This battery pack will be enough to give the Volkswagen ID.4 and Škoda Enyaq iV a WLTP range up to 500 km (311 miles).


Battery components in Volkswagen MEB platform


Starting with NCM 712 battery cells made by LG Chem in Poland is a wise decision. Not only LG Chem already has great battery cells available, it also has the biggest production capacity in Europe.

However, in the future MEB won’t rely on a single supplier for the battery cells. When SK Innovation starts producing its NCM 811 pouch cells in Hungary, it will also be a valid choice.

Further down the road, CATL and Samsung SDI might join the battery cell supplier list. Eventually, I would like to see a cobalt-free LFMP battery pack available in MEB.


Summing up…

Years ago Tesla showed us that flat skateboard platforms are the way forward. Now legacy automakers are slowly getting onboard.

A skateboard platform allows better weight distribution, thermal management and flexibility. It can be used with small, medium or big battery cells. Although Tesla had no choice but to use thousands of tiny cylindrical battery cells when it started producing electric cars, now automakers have an easier life. They can choose to use fewer and bigger prismatic or pouch battery cells with excellent energy density to assemble simpler battery packs.


Battery costs roadmap by Volkswagen


Anyway, Volkswagen’s MEB platform is great, nonetheless it can be improved. CTP (cell-to-pack) technology that Chinese battery cell makers recently introduced is the next logical step to make simpler, safer, cheaper and more energy-dense battery packs.

Thanks for the heads up Pajda!



More info:–37-v—78000-mah-15759927.html

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

38 Responses

  1. Michal Grabowski says:

    Source for the NCM 712 cells?

  2. Freddy says:

    On paper the MEB looks good – let’s see how the cars behave in real life conditions (with the clients).

    although if VW group wants to be rulers of EV’s, they should have made some sort of important innovation (imho)… basically they just copied what is being well made by others (skateboard, liquid cooling, etc…)… the direct cell to pack (without modules) could have been something to differentiate against others…

    Anyway, usually companies which initially innovate in the (mass production) car industry don’t really take much advantage of this as others quickly copy it if really good….some examples:
    – directional headlights and hydropneumatic suspension in Citroen DS
    – Front wheel drive and monoquoce in Citroen Traction Avant / 12
    They are now (Citroen) a secondary brand of the PSA group…

    Yeah, you can tell I like Citroen, right?! eheheh

    • Pajda says:

      Freddy, this is a good point but it is good to realize that MEB is the “lowcost” or maybe better “mass production” platform developed by VW. There are actually three others electric platforms developed by VW, where PPE (Premium Platform Electric) is also brand new and it is aimed to be high-tech platform. So your point about more innovations should be aimed here.

      • Freddy says:

        Well said… Naturally a premium platform will be show the technological innovations… let us see besides the 800 V what else will showup from major manufacturers….

  3. Marcel says:

    Great article, thanks Pedro. I now have the ID4 on my short list for 2021/2022. It’s supposed to arrive in Canada in 2021, but who knows if that will actually happen, who knows if VW will get their factories in the US running on schedule. I’m not sure how stable the US is going to be over the next 2 years as they don’t look like they’re going to control the epidemic very well.

    Do you know if US built VW EVs will get the same battery cells? Or will they need LG Chem’s US factory to come online first? Or maybe they’ll import cells from China?

    Do you know how VW’s quality control is these days? I have a friend who was originally from Germany, and they had a Golf from around 2005? so many things went wrong with that car, and a coworker who had such a bad experience with a Golf that they’ve sworn off of VWs completely. On the other hand, I have another friend who has only driven Golfs for the last 20 years.

    The Model Y would normally be on top of my list, especially because of the charging, but Musk’s behaviour lately is rubbing me the wrong way. And the ID4 looks like it could be priced quite a bit lower than the Y. The Ford Mach-e and the e-Niro are on my list too, but a lot of my decision will be based on what’s the lowest price model that has heated seats. Canada, LOL. Also, the towing capability might factor into my decision. So the ID4 looks like it could be at the top of my list.

    Also, do you know anything about the charging speed of the low capacity battery? I’m pretty happy with anything over 75KW, but 100KW would be great.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Thanks Marcel.

      Don’t quote me on this, but I have the idea that initially Volkswagen will use LG Chem in Europe, SK Innovation in North America and CATL in Asia.

      Regarding reliability, Japanese automakers are on top, Volkswagen is not great.

      I think that fast charging rates for the ID.4 will be the same as for the ID.3:

      Low battery capacity: 50 kW
      Medium battery capacity: 100 kW
      High battery capacity: 125 kW

      • Tom Houlden says:

        One thing to consider on general reliability reports like that is what PART is unreliable, since they’re nearly all ice with heavily-used friction brakes. There’s a lot less to go wrong with an EV.

        My eGolf-leasing friend (who might BUY another one) had a warranty failure of the 12V charging system that’s exclusive to the EV, & a just-off-warranty failure of the filler cap door that’s shared with the ice.

        VW EV warranty is currently only THREE YEARS in the US, so my eGolf neighbor got an extended warranty on the used one she bought. eGolf is definitely the nicest-driving, best-handling EV I’ve driven, which includes 500e, i3, Leaf 1.0 & 2.0, eSoul, & eFocus.

        • Marcel says:

          Good point, thanks Tom. EVs should be more reliable, But I’m still a little worried with VW About things like filler cap doors and door handles and wipers etc. – my Leaf that I had for 2 years was great that way. I’m leaning away from the Leaf next time because of charging times on road trips, and the increasing prevalence of CCS higher speed chargers vs Chademo ones.

      • Marcel says:

        Ok thanks. So it looks like the medium battery might be worth it if the extra cost isn’t too much.

  4. carlos says:

    Are you sure about the capacity for the smallest pack? I have always understood it’s 48 kWh net, rather than 52.

  5. Aigars Mahinovs says:

    Any idea about actual pack weight? Not weight of just the cells that go into each pack.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Sorry, I couldn’t find that information anywhere.

      • Pajda says:

        Škoda Auto only released a weight of single battery module which is 32 kg. The rumors says ca 350 kg for the whole smallest 55 kWh pack.

        • Pajda says:

          And the pack will got standard Škoda Auto warranty which is 160 000 km or 8 years down to 70% of the nominal capacity.

        • Pedro Lima says:

          350 kg for the 55 kWh would be disappointing, considering that the “same battery” in the Renault ZOE weighs 326 kg.

          • Pajda says:

            I think it is not that bad if the guess is correct. It should be noted that Volkswagen might use a common battery box for all three batteries due to the cost reduction and so the battery box is logically oversized for the smallest pack. So we can speculate that the biggest battery will be ca 130 kg heavier (four additional modules per 32 kg each and some additional bussbars/wiring) and this gives ca 480 kg for the 82 kWh pack, which is ca 170 Wh/kg. For example Tesla Model 3 LR pack weights 457 kg with 166 Wh/kg based on data from AVL benchmark report.

  6. Neromanceres says:

    Nice article and good information. I like the 108S configuration on the mid sized battery pack. Of note most manufacturers are not moving to a skateboard chassis. MEB is technically still unibody. It just looks like a skateboard from the powertrain layout images. Unibody will always be lighter than a skateboard. Personally I’m really interested in the 100Ah NCMA cells that GM will be using next year starting with the Hummer.

  7. Li-S syndicate says:


    The LGX E78 78Ah battery blades need to be charged and discharged at 0.3C for delivering their rated 78 Ah capacity and withstanding 2,000 cycles. They however tolerate a 0.5C charging rate, but in such case the 2,000 cycles specification doesn’t stand anymore.They however tolerate a 2.8C charging rate during max 10 second, like when recovering energy during braking.

    Now comes the problem. For selling massively a car must grab a 200 km range per 10 minutes recharging. Cars that don’t meet such criterion will remain considered as “auxiliary cars” or “local cars” instead of “plain normal cars”. Say a car requires a 16 kWh energy for running 100 km. For getting recognized as a “plain normal car”, it must charge a 32 kWh energy in 10 minutes.This corresponds to a 192 kW recharging power, in reality a actual 212 kW recharging power after accounting from some losses.

    Now look, in case the battery is a 60 kW battery, and in case we occasionally charge it at a 0.5C rate (within the LGX E78 78Ah battery blades specs), the max allowed charging power is 30 kW. Recharging 32 kW (for 200 km) will take approx one hour. Big problem indeed.

    Now look, one may eventually exceed the specification. Say we recharge at a 2.0C rate. This is 4 times harder than the specification. This is not a small feat. Say you do this every day, 5 days per week, during 5 years (46 weeks per year). You will complete 1,150 cycles. The battery will be cooked. After 500 cycles, due to the wearing (more Joules losses), for gaining a 200 km range, you will require a 20 minutes recharge instead of a 15 minutes recharge. You are now significantly below the idea of driving a “plain normal car”. Moreover, each time you will rechange, you will feel frustration. Most cars will recharge using a 200 kW power, instead of the 120 kW power you are limited to.

    Come on, Pedro, how can the Germans commit into this? Do they want to ruin their own reputation? Let us hope they succeed in industrializing better batteries, 100% made for “plain normal cars”.

    See them at work here :

    The researchers have an approved filed patent (PCT/AU 2019/051239) for their manufacturing process, and prototype cells have been successfully fabricated by German R&D partners Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology.

    So look, Pedro, the German’s strategy is as follows. Through VW (the MEB), they announce electric cars on a massive scale, ready to reach thousands of showrooms. This way the existing battery cells suppliers like LG Chem, CATL, BYD, etc. must spend massive amounts of money for building massive battery cells factories everywhere in the world including in Europe. Then, horizon 2022, the German chemistry (actually Lithium-Sulphur chemistry) will reach industrialization, embedding the “12 cm blade” feature, “8 cm blade” feature, “built-in BMS” featuret and “dielectric oil immersed” feature. The pack energy density will reach 500 Wh (usable) per kilogram, and the pack cost will drop to $50 per kWh capacity (usable). The nominal capacity will be specified for a 1.0C charge/discharge rate. The max recharge rate that’s enabling 2,000 cycles will be 3.0C. The 20 kWh (usable) pack that you require inside a plugin hybrid car will cost 1,000 euro ex-works (1 million packs per year), and will weight 40 kilogram (just push a 12-cm blades 10 kWh pack under each front seat). Speaking of plugin hybrid cars, all european car makers will license the Toyota “HSD” system (e-CVT) and/or PunchPower “DT2” system (Hybrid DCT). The 100 kWh (usable) skateboard that you require inside a 100% electric car will cost 5,000 euro ex-works (1 million skateboards per year), and will weight 200 kilogram (8-cm blades skateboard). Consequently, the existing battery cells suppliers like LG Chem, CATL, BYD, etc. will require again investing massive amounts of money for phasing-out their old chemistry, and phasing-in the Germans’ chemistry.

    Then, precisely, the Germans will offer financing most of the chemistry change, at the condition that they get paid a decent proportion of the profit that’s generated by the new chemistry.

    Figure out such Lithium-Sulphur chemistry that’s weighting 3 times less per kWh capacity (at pack level), that’s containing no or very little Nickel and Cobalt, that’s embedding the BMS, and that’s simplifying the cabling and the cooling.

    Figure out the profit you can make by selling the kWh capacity, not 1/3 the usual price (at pack level), but instead, 1/2 the usual price (at pack level). You give your partner, the possibility to survive, to reach massive sales, and to increase its profit margin percentage by say 33%. You, on your side, as technology provider, as lobbyist, as Li-S syndicate, you cash-in the remaining profit and you ensure that no newcomer attempts selling outside the Li-S syndicate.

    Remember the Tungsten syndicate.
    Remember Gilda.

    Have a nice day.

    The day the Germans will have signed with LG Chem, CATL, BYD, etc, you will see how magically, the “grand software issue” that the Germans are presently facing, will instantly vanish. Think about VW “Tesla compatible cars”. Just like BMW “Tesla compatible cars”. Tesla can’t setup a dealer’s network taking care of maintenance and repairs and this is the reason why a couple of USA State Governors managed to interdict to Tesla, the right to sell cars over there.Tesla can’t properly cut, stamp, position and weld galvanized steel. Tesla can’t properly clean metal and spray paint on it. Tesla can’t properly design and produce up-to-date electronics embedding the automotive SPE (single pair ethernet) standard, and the corresponding high integration sensors and high integration motor drivers. Kind of disaster. No long term value here. On the other hand, Tesla is extremely valuable, once recognized as a brilliant company that’s taking care of the whole infotainment including autopilot, taking care of complete subassemblies like the “front module” and “rear module”, and taking care of the whole software editing, updating, upgrading, deploying. Yep there is tremendous value in there. Possibly not on a global scale, seeing what happened to Google in China. Can someone please reassess Tesla before it is too late?

    • Barry says:

      I think your fears about charging rate and cell longevity are overblown. VW is a very conservative company and they do their homework with EV batteries. I have a 35.8 kWh e-Golf and keep a close eye on pack temperatures during DC fast charging and for a pack without any active thermal management, VW did a good job with NCM111 cell based battery pack that can charge at about 1.1C (I’ve rarely seen 40C temps in the pack). The internet is full of Nissan Leaf battery pack horror stories, but I have yet to see one about the e-Golf battery pack, leading me to believe VW knows how to design reliable battery packs. I believe VW would not allow stated charge rates if it knew pack would be destroyed quickly. Also, looking at Pedro’s LG Chem chart, the NCM712 cells are designed for “high temperature storage”, which makes me believe they are durable enough to take at least the stated charge rates and have very long life. I don’t have any specs – you seem to know a lot about these cells, so please publish all the data so we can examine it.

      • Li-S syndicate says:

        Hi Barry, the LG Chem LGX E78 78Ah battery blades get described here :–37-v—78000-mah-15759927.html
        No doubt VW do their homework with EV batteries. Please look the VW ID.3 specs here :
        Battery capacity 62.0 kWh
        Fast charge Power (max) 100 kW DC
        Vehicle Consumption 16.6 kWh per km (EVDB Real)
        —> 20 minutes are required for grabbing the 33.2 kWh energy that’s allowing to drive 200 km. Consequently, for the average prospect, the VW ID.3 doesn’t correspond to a “plain normal car”.
        Let us be optimistic, ignoring the fact the chances that you find a fast charger on to go, are extremely thin nowadays. Let us be optimistic again, assuming that within 5 years, most petrol stations will get equipped with PDE pumps featuring three nozzles (petrol, diesel, electric). They will force you to clear after 5 or 10 minutes, depending on the length of the queue. Now consider the VW ID.3 100 kW recharging power limit. In case there is a queue (5 minutes limit), you will get 8.3 kWh allowing to drive 50 km. In case there is no queue (10 minutes limit), you will get 16.6 kWh allowing to drive 100 km. The VW ID.3 will thus remain perceived as a kind of “auxiliary car” or “local car” that you better recharge at home or at the office. In such context most users will recharge using a 3 kW power, on Sunday before going to bed, and on Friday before going to bed. Unfortunately the VW ID.3 doesn’t recharge like a robotic lawnmower. This is a deal breaking omission. It indicates that VW has not fully assumed the kind of car they try selling. It is a vital necessity that VW always sells the ID.3 with a small accessory worth $200, provided as gift during the commercial launch period, allowing to recharge under a 3 kW power like it was a robotic lawnmower. Look here, how easy this is : Speaking of the VW ID.3, the most difficult part consists in the auto-guiding. One shall build a self-containing charging dock prototype using Arduino. It shall consist in a camera with infrared lighting. The perceived size of a logo (that’s glued on the VW ID.3) is a function of the distance. Using Bluetooth, the charging dock is dialoguing with the VW ID.3. The dialog consists in verbs like : start car / left / right / forward / reverse / stop car / docking confirmed / docking not confirmed / power off / power on.
        By the way, I would like to install a Punch Powertrain DT2 into a MQB (petrol chassis) along with a tailor-made battery pack under each of the two front seats, for assessing the production cost of a novel MQB plugin hybrid.
        The Punch Powertrain DT2 is here :

  8. Lars says:

    Hi Pedro

    About a month ago you wrote the following about the ID.3 battery packs:

    1. Standard range: 45 kWh (usable) and 330 km of WLTP range (LFMP from CATL in 2021)
    2. Mid range: 58 kWh (usable) and 420 km of WLTP range (NCM 622 from LG Chem in 2020)
    3. Long range: 77 kWh (usable) and 550 km of WLTP range (NCM 811 from CATL in 2021)

    Did you get new information or what did change your mind from three different chemistries to only one?

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Hi Lars.

      While not official, the latest information I have is that initially Volkswagen will use LG Chem in Europe, SK Innovation in North America and CATL in Asia.

      Which makes sense. LG Chem has the highest battery cell production capacity in Europe, CATL is leader in China and SK Innovation is making huge investments in the USA.

      However, this is only for the initial production, later on Volkswagen can change suppliers as it pleases. Not relying on a sole supplier seems to me a smart strategy.

    • Pajda says:

      Hi Lars,

      The info of using LG Chem 78 Ah pouch cells and the cell and module count in all Škoda Enyaq (ID4) battery packs was officially announced by Škoda Auto last week. This press release was the idea of writing this excellent article. 🙂

      I think that the cells used in ID3 was not already confirmed, but now we can be almost sure that they will use the same cell for all packs at least in EU as well. The only difference between ID3 and Enyaq(ID4) smallest pack will be that ID3 pack will use 7 modules instead of 8 modules in ID4. And so smallest ID3 pack will probably have the lowest voltage based on 84s2p connection (the same as Škoda Citigoe/e-UP! but with more energy dense cells).

      My guess is that VW cell suppliers will vary for continents. EU and China production of VW and Škoda will be supplied by LG Chem. USA production with SK Innovation pouch cells. I think that VW will use CATL cells only in their joint venture JAC in China and those will be prismatic NMC cells in VDA-PHEV2 format. What do you think?

      • Lars says:

        For me the three different battery chemistries made sense because the NMC 622 cells are widely used and the 58 kWh battery pack is the first to be delivered. Rumours have it that the small and the large battery pack versions will arrive later, maybe even next year, which would make sense since the cells are not widely available yet. If all three battery packs are made of the same cells there could be delivered at the same time.
        But if you have confirmation about the cells from Skoda then it makes sense that the VW BEV would use the same cells.

        • Pajda says:

          I think (my guess) that the schedule of relaeasing packs to the market is based on internal VW policy of new model releases, not technical issues. It was announced year ago that Škoda Enyaq will be released with the biggest pack first and other packs will follow. It should be available in Q1 2021 with starting production this autumn. I think that VW will use the same strategy for ID4. So basically they do not want to release smaller(cheaper) ID3 model with the same pack sooner than higher model, particularly when the biggest battery pack is identical for both vehicles. I think that focusing on ID3 as the first released MEB model was missthinking by VW (i think it was inspired by Tesla). They should focus all their effort to SUV model come first like Škoda does. So I am quite sure that they already have prepared ID4 for release and this will come with the biggest pack first as Škoda does in Q1 2021.

  9. Foersom says:

    “Years ago Tesla showed us that flat skateboard platforms are the way forward. Now legacy automakers are slowly getting onboard.”

    For a normal height car, that will result in terrible low rear seats like Tesla S (28 cm sitting height) and Tesla 3 (31 cm). With full floor battery you should make car taller like CUV style to make rear seats with reasonable height (>35 cm).

  10. HighVoltageGuy says:

    Just to add a couple of things to the discussion. It’s interesting to note that on the ID3 Pro S (Long range version) the seating is limited to 4 (, while for the other versions 5 is allowed (
    This could be due to 2 reasons: either the additional 2 modules displace more or less the same weight of the 5th passenger and they exceed the load limit of the axles, or that the additional modules lead to a different arrangement of the systems stealing the space for a proper central seat cushion in the rear.
    On the latter hypothesis is interesting to note some things based on VW shared infos:
    1. From the platform view ( we can notice a 10 module (5×2) battery pack with some additional plates that seems placed there to fill in the gap and give structural support.
    2. From multiple cutaways displayed ( the 10-module battery itr’s actually a 9-module one with a space left for the control electronics, most likely would be the same for the 8-module variant.
    3. The 12-module battery is longer and with the control electronics in another position ( Maybe this longer battery pack displaces some other component, such as the charger.

    P.s.: seems like that CATL cells already fit in the module

    • HighVoltageGuy says:

      Actually the first image should be this

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Indeed, very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

      I would be very happy to see CATL’s cobalt-free battery cells installed in MEB platform.

    • Foersom says:

      Yes. It is not because space, it is likely because of large and heavy battery that reduce the available payload. VW has been proactive and declared that it is only for 4 persons.

      On the hand Tesla Y is the CUV with lowest available payload only 402 kg. An average US adult weigh 83.5 kg, so Tesla Y LR D can carry just 4 adults + limited luggage. However that has not stopped Tesla for claiming that it is a car for 7 adults.

      For comparison: Hyundai Kona EV 64 kWh has max payload: 485 kg; Jaguar I-Pace: 500 kg; Audi E-Tron Quattro: 640 kg.

  11. Lukas says:

    Hello Pedro, very interesting! I was wondering – does someone know if VW could potentially also use cylindrical cells for their MEB platform? I heard that Rivian is achieving a very volumetric energy density. That being said, let’s see if they can deliver on that. It is more of an theoretical question.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Hi Lukas.

      I don’t think that using thousands of tiny cylindrical battery cells makes any sense when assembling large battery packs. They are better suited for electric bikes and motorcycles.

      For large battery packs, pouch cells make sense if we use modules and if we use a module-less approach we need prismatic cells.

      Some companies just copy Tesla’s approach, but Tesla was forced to use cylindrical cells when it started because high-energy dense cells were only available in that form. It’s just a matter of time for Tesla go with a CTP (module-less) approach using prismatic battery cells.

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