An interview with Sven Köhler
Becoming ID.

Vehicle construction: a prototype emerges

Becoming ID.

Vehicle construction: a prototype emerges

Planning and developing the ID.3 (near-production-ready prototype) are one thing; producing and testing it is completely different. What challenges does Sven Köhler have to overcome on a daily basis and what excites him most about the ID.3? Find out here.

The day-to-day life in a job where secrets are always on the agenda. Secrets about the future of automotive construction. As a vehicle controller, Sven Köhler is involved with Volkswagen’s most secretive vehicles at a very early stage – like the first prototypes for the ID.3 (near-production-ready prototype) a good few years ago.

What inspired you the most when developing the ID.3?

Essentially, I think it’s really good that the ID.3 has a rear-wheel drive. Again! It’s like the Beetle – or a T3 bus. We had a few vehicles with a rear-wheel drive back then, and the handling of the ID.3 now is completely different from our current front-wheel drive models. A lot of people here don’t really know what it’s like, and some are surprised when they drive the ID.3 for the first time. And I also absolutely loved it when the first ever ID.3 to be built in its series form – in black – drove through our production hall. It was a tremendous event.

At what point did you realise that electric mobility was about to make a breakthrough for everyone?

My wife has been driving a Passat GTE (fuel consumption in l/100 km: combined 1.6; power consumption, kWh/100 km: combined 14.7; CO₂ emissions, g/km: combined 36; efficiency class A+) for a year now – and I’ve also fitted a wall box in our garage. And you do ask yourself whether a car like this is sufficient as a second family vehicle. I have recently come to the conclusion that it’s a really practical and attractive car for managing your entire everyday life efficiently and comfortably. We drive using electricity alone here in our local area.

When driving for personal reasons, I keep a close eye out for charging points. And the number is on the rise: supermarkets now have charging points, you can park for free in lots of German towns and the technology is progressing in great leaps and bounds.

Great that the ID.3 has rear wheel drive. It's a comeback, because the Beetle also had it.
Sven Köhler
Vehicle controller

In detail: which technology do you find most fascinating in the new ID.3?

I find the interaction between technology and operation in the ID.3 amazing. The fact that the ID.3 recognises you and gives you a friendly greeting with the headlights when you approach it; the fact that the operating unit around the multimedia system has such an open and intuitive design and – of course – the fact that the ID.3 has a rear-wheel drive. I think it’s incredible.

What was the biggest challenge you faced over the entire course of the project?

The interplay between the software, electric motor and battery management system was a major challenge. And networking the vehicle not just on the inside but also with the surrounding area was not easy. There were a few other hurdles too: for instance, adapting to the new refrigerant took a lot of work. The fact that the battery has to be accurately cooled or heated – for instance when you do a winter test drive – was yet another challenge because we often had a new piece of software or new hardware adjustments had been added. But we dealt with all of this really well.


What will you take away from this project personally?

There’s nothing that doesn’t exist. And the best advice is always to have a Plan B in case Plan A doesn’t work. in other words, a solution is good but sometimes it’s not enough.

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