Volkswagen will be showcasing its progress toward integrated, CO2-neutral mobility at the 40th International Vienna Motor Symposium. Of interest are a platform developed exclusively for electric vehicles and a 48-volt mild hybrid drive system for today.

We’ll start with today. With the new mHEV system, Volkswagen is entering the next phase of the large-scale electrification of its fleet. Depending on driving style, it can save around 0.4 litres of fuel over 100 km and cut carbon emissions in the process, Wolfsburg claims.

The 48-volt mHEV system is being combined with VW’s 1.5 litre TSI evo petrol engine, which currently powers the Golf and its group stablemates. This makes it a strong candidate to appear in the next-generation Mk8 Golf, which will surface later this year.

The 48-volt system will join the conventional 12-volt vehicle electrical system, with a DC/DC converter as the link. The 48 volts power the belt-integrated starter generator (BSG), which is located where the alternator used to be in the auxiliary drive. It does two functions – recuperation and boost.

During the former, which is brake energy recovery, the BSG acts an alternator that is able to absorb some of the vehicle’s kinetic energy. The recovered energy is stored as electrical energy in a separate 48-volt lithium-ion battery located underneath the front passenger seat. This energy is released during the electric boost to power the BSG and support the TSI engine.

The BSG also assists the TSI during the startup process, taking on the role of the pinion starter. This helps to save fuel and makes the start process easier and quieter. The mHEV also includes the now familiar eco-coasting function. This mode allows the vehicle to “coast” with the engine switched off so that no emissions are produced, an important factor in the drive’s ability to reduce FC by 0.4 litres per 100 km.

The mHEV is for today, but VW believes that electric is the future. Underpinning the company’s EVs is the MEB (modular electric drive matrix) platform. The electric platform’s key features are its high-voltage battery (installed in the underbody to save space), a compact permanent-magnet synchronous motor on the rear axle (or alternatively, the front axle), and its standard CCS system for quick charging.

The first vehicle to be built on the MEB platform is the ID.3. With a range from 330 to more than 550 km (WLTP standards), an output of 150 kW (201 hp) and a top speed of 160 km/h, the ID.3 is now open for pre-booking in Europe. The ID.3 is set to debut at the Frankfurt show in September, production is slated to commence at the end of the year, and deliveries will kick off in mid-2020. More on the ID.3 here.