Volkswagen MEB Battery Pack ID Family

Volkswagen ID Family cars such ID 3, 4, 5, 7, Buzz are based on a Modular electric drive matrix (MEB) Chassis. This Chassis contains the battery pack built into the floor for optimal weight distribution. The MEB can be scaled for cars to SUV to Vans thus allowing for standardized components especially battery modules and battery pack. In this article I will do a detailed analysis of the VW MEB battery pack for ID 4 and 3.

To go directly to different sections, select and click below:

  1. Introduction to VW MEB
  2. Exploded Overview of HV MEB Battery Pack (12 Modules)
  3. VW ID 4 Battery Pack detailed analysis based on Munro battery videos.
  4. VW ID 3 Battery analysis based on ESDI EV technologies videos.

I would give my special thanks to Munro Live, ESDI Technologies, EVCreate for this article. Youtube links to Munro channel and ESDI EV Technologies. EVcreate blogpost on Volkswagen MEB module has been very helpful in writing this article. Link to the EVCreate Blogpost. (*Apologies this was missed in the first update).

Introduction to VW MEB

You can have a look at introductory video from Volkswagen on the MEB Architecture.

Based on the above video you can see a basic configuration of 7 Modules which can be increased to 9 Modules with existing space in the basic configuration. Also you can extend and reconfigure the battery housing to include 12 modules in Total. Thus the concept is modular and of course with battery chemistry, energy density improvements this will help in future.

Basic Configuration
Basic Configuration
additional module spaces for 2
Basic Configuration without top cover
additional modules
Basic Configuration
with 2 extra modules.
9 in Total
increased size and more modules
Extended Basic Configuration with 12 modules

The above three configurations of 7,9, 12 Modules are actually made of only 2 module configurations: 12s2p and 8s3p. Both Modules have a gross capacity of 6.85 kWh. Both have 24 cells and weight of each battery is 32 kg. VW is using LG Chem NCM712 Pouch cells for Europe, SK Innovation Cells for USA and CATL for China. These modules will also be used in Skoda and Cupra models. The Basic Configuration can have either 7 or 9 Modules in 12s2p configuration. Thus giving for 7 Modules 48 kWh and 9 Modules 61 kWh. For 12 Modules Extended Configuration of Battery pack with 8s3P cells configuration the output is 82kWh.

  • Basic Confiuration – 7 Modules – 48 kWh
  • Basic Configuration extended – 9 Modules – 61 kWh
  • Extended Configuration – 12 Modules – 82 kWh.

Volkswagen announced in 2021/2022 new company PowerCo SE which will combine all its battery related operations. This company will start producing prismatic unified cells from 2025. The First Gigafactory will be in Salzgitter Germany (also PowerCo HQ). They are planning 6 Factories across Europe with second one in Valencia. Also further more in North America. Salzgitter will have a peak capacity of 40 GWh. Total European capacity planned will be 240 GWh by 2030. More details on PowerCo SE website.

Exploded Overview of a MEB Battery Pack

A typical Volkswagen 12 Module battery pack (HV) exploded View can be seen below.

This Modular structure also means that VW uses almost same auxiliary components other than the battery modules and cells inside. Same Auxiliary Components: Electronic Components like High Voltage Connector Strips, master and Slave BMS. Extruded or Casted or Machined Components like battery housing, base plate cooling system, upper and lower part of housing. Also Volkswagen uses a lot of fasteners which can be again same types for all models. This helps in ease of manufacturing either in house or at supplier as they dont have to change their machines, processes, tooling drastically from one Vehicle Model to the other.

The BMS is split in two so it can be spread between two narrow bay’s meaning the battery increment length changes as capacity increased is half a bay width about 125mm. This is a good figure for vehicle design as it is about the wheel base change required to take a vehicle between size classes. Although clever it’s a 1st generation battery design, PPE VW 2nd generation abandons this approach. So watch this space to see how they approach wheelbase changes in the future. Chris Godding

Detailed Analysis of Battery Pack VW ID 4 based on Munro Battery Teardown videos.

Some interesting insights on the Battery pack from Munro battery breakdown video. Also another part with sabic, OEM and bunch of industry experts Munro tried to do weight reduction with different solutions such as composite material for housing, base cooling plate etc. Link for that video.

This is an 12 module Battery pack for VW ID 4. 82 kWh with each module having Gross 6.85 kWh and 24 Cells each. The Cells are in 8s3p configuration. Total Cell Configuration is 96s3p = 288 Cells. Each Module weighs 32 kg. Total Battery Pack weight is 489 kg.

Overall Battery Pack Cooling System

You can see the inlet and outlet for cooling system (water). The cooling water flows through the aluminium base plate.

The Cooling plate is made of two halfs with the underside formed aluminium plate (left image top) with Thermal management cooling system channels brazed and stamped onto the top (right image) base aluminium plate. This is a cut section of the entire base plate. The Modules also have thermal paste first put underneath them on the base.

Battery Housing side safety structures

Extrusions machined on the sides and front. This are for collisions from either front or back or sides. This help maintain the safety of the battery pack. Extrusions are welded together in the corner to form the battery housing.

Fasteners, Castings and Cross Sections.

In the center Casting which runs horizontally and the vertical extrusion which also holds the busbars and slave BMS contains 2 location threaded bolt holes which connect the battery pack to chassis. These Holes have two bolts one big and one long threaded bolt.

Apart from the center casting there are also few casted separating sections between battery modules welded to the battery housing as seen above. Can be seen in detail below in cut sections.

A self drilling fastener bolt is used to connect the Upper plate of the Housing to the battery housing. An anaerobic sealing adhesive (maybe) is used also to avoid any leaks.

Bottom Cover Tray for Underbody Protection

Thanks to Munro we know this weighs about 23 kg is made up of aluminium. This prevents Stones or other things to penetrate the battery pack from below. Though as per Munro the thickness is only 1mm and in event of thermal runaway not a great protection. It can be replaced by composite material plate.

Busbars, Cell Controllers, Connectors

The central longitudinal extrusion contains 4 cell management controllers (for 12 modules, 1 controller can control 4 modules). Black Communication cables connect the 4 cell management controllers to the Master BMS. Another Connectors connect the cell controller to the voltage, current sensors inside the battery module.

The cell controllers are connected to the Master BMS whereas the busbars are connected to the HV junction Box.

High voltage Connector Strip connects the battery pack to the DC to DC convertor or other power electronics.

Battery Module

Each Battery Module has 24 Pouch Cells. There are two type of configurations 8s3p and 12s2p. Each Module has gross capacity of 6.85 kWh. Weight of one MEB module is 32 kg. The Basic Configuration can have either 7 or 9 Modules in 12s2p configuration. Thus giving for 7 Modules 48 kWh and 9 Modules 61 kWh. For 12 Modules Extended Configuration of Battery pack with 8s3P cells configuration the output is 82kWh.

Image taken from Munro Live.

  • Basic Confiuration – 7 Modules – 48 kWh
  • Basic Configuration extended – 9 Modules – 61 kWh
  • Extended Configuration – 12 Modules – 82 kWh.

Modules made by CATL contain Prismatic cells. Future VW PowerCo SE unified Cell will also be a Prismatic cells.

Total Weight according to Munro Analysis

Total weight of a 12 Module, 82 kWh Battery Pack for VW ID4 is 489 kg.

  • Battery Housing including cooling plate – 72 kg
  • Underbody Shield – 23 kg
  • Battery Modules – 370 kg
  • Top Cover – 7 kg
  • Miscellaneous – 17 kg

VW ID 3 Battery Pack breakdown by ESDI EV Technologies

Another interesting breakdown video by ESDI EV Tecnhologies by Alex. Video Link. This one is in German but I found the video to be thorough and interesting. As explained above the ID 4 Battery box is just a reconfiguration or extension of the basic configuration used in ID 3. Therefore they have same structure, modules, connectors and other components.

As Explained above the only difference is that this one contains 9 Modules with configuration 9x 12s2p = 61 kWh (usable 58 kWh in ID.3 Pro, WLTP 420 km).

Interesting Look at the busbars closely. The Curved Shapes help with thermal expansions.

Better View at the Battery Housing box with thermal paste and sections.

High voltage connector or Junction box with connectors 500 Volts 180 Amps. This one has a Pyro Fuse in the middle to blow when the airbag goes off or during car crash or if the sensors indicate something similar. On the side there are two white current sensors.

High voltage connector or Junction box with connectors 500 Volts 180 Amps. Includes a Fuse with rating of 450 volts and 100 Amps.

All in all VW have come up with a good design for their battery pack which is scalable. Thus manufacturability and supply chain wise its easier. But as Munro said in the improvement video there are options to reduce the weight by using composite body housing, bottom tray which also improves the thermal safety. Reduction of fasteners. As VW continues to vertically integrate the batteries and ramp up their electric vehicle production I am sure there will be many more improvements.

For other Vehicle Benchmarking from Volkswagen family like Porsche Taycan and Audi e-Tron please visit our Benchmarking Page.

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