Articles on this Page
- 12/14/18--16:04: _Clubs to hold minut...
- 12/14/18--15:48: _Nicolas Chauvin: Cl...
- 12/14/18--16:14: _Newspaper headlines...
- 12/14/18--16:10: _The Papers: May and...
- 12/15/18--04:52: _Europe must fight i...
- 12/15/18--15:48: _THE GAIN LINE: Newc...
- 12/15/18--18:48: _Drivers face £5.50 ...
- 12/15/18--18:25: _The Kosovo Blunder:...
- 12/15/18--18:41: _Imposition Of Marti...
- 12/15/18--21:36: _'If He's Hiding, I ...
- 12/15/18--20:54: _Italy: pinning the ...
- 12/16/18--00:05: _Uber's main rival i...
- 12/16/18--00:25: _Meet 9 Creepy Speci...
- 12/16/18--01:37: _This is Europe: An ...
- 12/16/18--01:47: _Transfer news LIVE:...
- 12/16/18--02:33: _Brexit fishing righ...
- 12/16/18--02:46: _New Volkswagen ID: ...
- 12/16/18--03:28: _Glasgow Warriors' A...
- 12/16/18--04:01: _E Europe May 'Gravi...
- 12/16/18--05:27: _Kitka Brings 'Power...
- 12/14/18--16:04: Clubs to hold minute's silence for teenager who died from injury
- 12/14/18--16:10: The Papers: May and Juncker clash and 'Brexit charge'
- 12/15/18--04:52: Europe must fight illiberal forces, Draghi warns
- 12/15/18--15:48: THE GAIN LINE: Newcastle desperate to earn European glory
- 12/15/18--18:25: The Kosovo Blunder: Moves Towards A Standing Army – OpEd
- 12/15/18--20:54: Italy: pinning the blame on Brussels
- 12/16/18--00:25: Meet 9 Creepy Species That Pose Greatest Threat to Europe
- 12/16/18--01:37: This is Europe: An image of homelessness in Paris
- 12/16/18--01:47: Transfer news LIVE: Latest deals in the Premier League and Europe
- 12/16/18--02:33: Brexit fishing rights: Questions about North Sea ownership
- 12/16/18--02:46: New Volkswagen ID: electric hatchback prototypes hit the road
Professional clubs across Europe will hold a minute's silence this weekend in tribute to Stade Francais youth player Nicolas Chauvin, who died aged 18.
Reported by BBC Sport 1 day ago.
Professional clubs across Europe will hold a minute's silence this weekend in tribute to Stade Francais youth player Nicolas Chauvin, who died aged 18.
Reported by BBC Sport 1 day ago.
Saturday's front pages feature Brexit and the EU's plan to charge Brits travelling to Europe.
Reported by BBC News 1 day ago.
Saturday's front pages feature Brexit and the EU's plan to charge Brits travelling to Europe.
Reported by BBC News 1 day ago.
The spread of illiberal ideology is threatening the euro but it is an illusion that leaving it would offer an easier path, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Saturday.
Reported by Reuters 19 hours ago.
NIK SIMON - THE GAIN LINE: Toby Flood insists Newcastle are ‘desperate’ to reach Europe’s knockout stages after recalling their Gun XV against Edinburgh on Sunday.
Reported by MailOnline 8 hours ago.
British motorists could face paying £5.50 to drive in France, Spain and elsewhere in Europe under plans being drawn up for a No Deal Brexit.
Reported by MailOnline 5 hours ago.
There never is a time not to worry in the Balkans. The next conflict always seems to be peering around the corner with a malicious enthusiasm, eager to spring at points of demagogic advantage and personal suffering. The centrepieces of future disaster in the region tend to be Kosovo and Bosnia. The former is now intent on formalising military arrangements, thereby fashioning a spear that will be able to be driven deep through the heart of Serbian pride.
On Friday, the Assembly of Kosovo passed three draft laws with overwhelming numbers that it would form an army. (Serbian lawmakers boycotted the session.) The current Kosovo Security Force of 3,000 lightly armed personnel is to become somewhat more formidable: 5,000 active troops backed by 3,000 reservists in the next decade. This move was brazenly chest beating in nature, an assertion that security, as provided by the 4,000 NATO troops forming KFOR (the Kosovo Force), was inadequate and, more to the point, to be bypassed altogether.
It also came as a calculated assault, timed to bruise Serbians in Kosovo – numbering some 120,000 – and politicians in Belgrade, suggesting a marked change from negotiations some three months prior. Then, it seemed that a land swap offer was in the making, one that would have reflected the relevant though tense ethnic composition in the region: the Preševo Valley in southern Serbia, predominantly Albanian, would join Kosovo; Serbia would re-establish dominion over the majority ethnic-Serb area of Kosovo to the north of the River Ibar.
Things subsequently soured. Kosovo had already agreed to raise a 100 percent tariff on imports from Serbia, a move that is economically insensible but parochially clear. Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj justified the action by blaming Belgrade’s efforts to foil his bid in admitting Kosovo to Interpol. Aggression from Belgrade was cited on all fronts: from the seething Deputy Prime Minister Enver Hoxhaj; from the foreign ministry (“abusive” lobbying by Serbia was cited); and from the prime minister himself.
To have such an army will be another feather in the cap of Kosovo’s aims to consolidate its sovereign credentials and sever the umbilical cord with Belgrade. The danger here, as ever, is how the ethnic Serbs, backed by their indignant patrons, will respond. Haradinaj’s caper here is to claim that the forces will be “multi-ethnic, in service of its own citizens, in function of peace, alongside other regional armies, including the Serbian Army, in having partnership for peace.” His officials also insist on a modest role for the new army, one dedicated to “search and rescue operations, explosive ordnance disposal, fire fighting and hazardous material disposal.” Nothing, in short, to have kittens over.
The region is already suffering a form of legal schizophrenia, one designed by the legal and security arrangements more befitting an asylum than a functioning state. Countries in Europe facing their own separatist dilemmas have been steadfast in not recognising Kosovo. Unsurprisingly, Spain is foremost amongst them. In January, the Spanish foreign ministry expressed the view that Kosovo be kept out of any plans for Western Balkans enlargement. “The concept of ‘WB6’ does not fit the enlargement dynamic. Kosovo is not part of the enlargement process and has its own differentiated framework.”
In reality, the Kosovar Albanians know they can count on much support within European ranks: the appetite for protecting Serbian interests was long lost during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Lauded defenders became demonised butchers. Kosovo assumed the form of a pet project, one to be nurtured by Western European and US interests under the fictional tent of humanitarianism. Invariably, Serbia sought support from Russia and China, both of whom steadfastly rejected the 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.
For Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić, speaking in Trstenik on Thursday, “Kosovo and Metohija is to us great torment, especially because of Pristina’s move and the announcement of the formation of an army, which is neither based on law nor on Resolution 1244.” Serbia’s foreign minister, Ivica Daičić deemed the formation of any such army “the most direct threat to peace and stability in the region.”
Such instances are open invitations to violence. The Kosovo authorities are keen to wave the red flag; Serbian authorities risk running at it with frothing intensity. There is also a fear that this move has received conventional prodding, this time from the United States. “Everything Pristina is doing,” according to Vučić, “it is obviously doing with the support of the United States. They have no right under international legal document to form armed formations; to us, that’s illegal, and we will inform the public about further steps.”
The assertion is not without foundation. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) is clear that the guarantor of security in the region be KFOR. “Hence,” goes a statement from a spokesman for the UN Secretary General, “any restriction to the discharge by KFOR of its security responsibilities would be inconsistent with that resolution.” But the bad behaviour of small entities such as Kosovo often takes place at the behest of greater powers, and US ambassador to Kosovo Philip Kosnett has openly stated that it was “only natural for Kosovo as a sovereign, independent country to have a self-defence capability.”
Lieutenant Colonel Sylejman Cakaj, who had cut his milk teeth on fighting Serbia as a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1999, seemed to have drunk a juice heavy with political overtones. “We are all seeing a geo-strategic changes in the world, towards the creation of a somewhat new world order. I believe it is necessary that following the consolidation of its statehood, Kosovo has its army too… the one that we are entitled to as representatives of the people, to be in control of our country.” The shudder amongst ethnic Serbs at such remarks is palpable, and the fear here is whether Belgrade will catch a terrible cold.
The response from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was more one of remorse than decisive anger. “I regret that the decision to initiate a change of the Kosovo Security Force mandate was made despite concerns expressed by NATO.” The “level of NATO’s engagement with the Kosovo Security Force” would have to be re-examined.
While patriotic foolishness should never be discounted in any factor in the region, the Kosovo Albanians have been emboldened. The wait-and-see game about whether Serbian forces are deployed to protect Kosovar Serbs is afoot. As former Serbian military commander Nebojša Jović warned with thick ominousness, “What they [the Kosovo Albanians] should know from our history is that there was never a ‘small war’ in these territories. Every time there was a conflict in Serbia, Kosovo and Metohija, it turned into a war on a bigger scale and none of us here want this.” Reported by Eurasia Review 5 hours ago.
The Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) adopted a law on November 26, 2018, approving a presidential decree on the introduction of martial law in Ukraine. The law is imposed in Vinnytsia, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Odesa, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson region as well as in the inland waters of Azov and Kerch waters from November 26 to December 26, 2018.
The Ukraine Government decided to introduce martial law after Russia had captured two Ukrainian artillery boats and a tugboat near the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea on November 25, 2018. Addressing the nation, President Poroshenko alleged that “Russia has been waging a hybrid war against our country for five years. But with an attack on Ukrainian military boats, it moved to a new stage of aggression. And this attack, of course, is not accidental.”1
Following the logic and statement of Poroshenko, the Martial Law should have been introduced in the year 2014 itself when the rebels seized parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and Crimea was integrated by Russia and which has cost more than a thousand lives. The common people in the street of Ukraine asked the questions that why the government did not impose martial law since then and why now when only a few days remain before the start of Presidential elections.
The general provisions of martial law in Ukraine have outlined in the law “On the legal regime of martial law” which the parliament passed the bill in 2015. In a nutshell, it states that in connection with the introduction of martial law in Ukraine, constitutional human rights and freedoms stipulated by Articles 30-34, 38, 39, 41-44, 53 of the Constitution of Ukraine may be temporarily limited, for the period of the legal regime of martial law.
For instance, Article 1 of “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law” which define the Martial Law clearly stipulate that “It also involves temporary (threat determined) restrictions of human constitutional rights and freedoms as well as the rights and legitimate interests of all legal persons with an indication of the period of effectiveness for these restrictions.”2 It is also important to clarify that in the period of martial law, the powers of the president cannot be terminated. If the term of office of the head of state expires during martial law, he continues his work until the expiration of martial law.3 This indicates that President Poroshenko has finally succeeded to controls all most all Ukrainian existing institutions including the law-enforcement agencies, the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government, and the media.
In the meanwhile, three former Ukrainian presidents have joined their hands to oppose the motion to impose martial law in the country. Former Presidents of Ukraine, namely Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko, issued a joint statement expressing doubts about the need for martial law in the country. In their letter, they stated that “Martial law is, first and foremost a radical restriction of the rights of Ukrainian citizens, including the total prohibition of strikes, mass gatherings and rallies, the right to bans political parties and public organizations.
There is another unparalleled risk associated with martial law – it is a legal chaos in the state.” The former presidents said martial law would pose a threat to democracy because it will scrap the presidential vote scheduled for next year. They further asserted that “A large part of society believes that in this way democracy could be limited. These suspicions are extremely dangerous, they can lead to a social conflict, the enemy will certainly use so they have to be pacified.” 4
There have been mixed reactions among the opposition parties in Verkhovna Rada as well as in academic circles. His main opponent, Tymoshenko, was forced to support the imposition of martial law.5 While speaking on the issue at the extraordinary session of the Verkhovna Rada, Yulia Tymoshenko said that “From the first days of the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine, the Batkivshchyna faction has demanded the introduction of martial law, and we are ready to support the introduction of martial law in Ukraine today. But we are not ready to support the destruction of the rights and freedoms of Ukrainians under the guise of martial law.”
While, voting against the imposition of martial law, Deputy Chairman of the Opposition Bloc parliamentary faction, Oleksandr Vilkul, argued that “Over the past 4.5 years, more than 10 thousand people died only according to official data, the situation was much worse but martial law was not enacted because they wanted to come to power and hold presidential and parliamentary elections.”6
In the same way, an analyst on international affairs, Georgiy Kuhaleyshvili, argued that “The situation in the Sea of Azov and in the area of the Joint Forces Operation in Donbas will not change even if the martial law is declared.” He further noted that “Poroshenko needs martial law in order to take a pause, postpone the elections, and get prepared for them. The president is trying to consolidate the electorate around Russia’s aggression, he has stepped up international actions as well.” 7Similarly, in an exclusive interview with Glavnovosti, a military expert, Vlad Mulek, explained that the martial law, introduced in ten regions of Ukraine, would allow taking funds from local budgets to finance the army.8The civil societies, NGOs, opposition parties and many media publications alleged that this was an attempt by the president with an extremely low rating to hold on to power for some time. The popularity of Ukrainian President Poroshenko is collapsing and former Ukrainian prime minister and Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party leader Yulia Tymoshenko continues to be the main beneficiary, according to a survey conducted by Kiev-based pollster Rating Group.9 According to polls, Poroshenko most likely to lose his presidential post if elections to take place on the time. Therefore, the intensifying the armed conflict with Russia and imposition of martial law on the country provided him “like a masterstroke”10 which may allow him to change the situation in his favour. The disappointment is exacerbated further by the public’s high expectations based on his promises made during his election campaign in 2014.
Poroshenko promised that one of his main objectives during his presidency would be to end corruption and turn Ukrainian into a functioning modern country closely associated with the European Union and assured that Ukrainians would not need visas to travel in the EU.
Another of Poroshenko’s promises was to immediately end the military operation in Donbass. During the last four and half years of his rule, Poroshenko has yet again failed to keep his promise and has unsuccessful completely in every aspect of the life of Ukrainian people. His expectations and dependent on Western allies could not yield any positive results rather complicated the situations. Ukraine nowadays, facing a very peculiar condition, somewhat resembling the one that evolved in Russia on the 1990s. Recognising his own failure in addressing the people’s concern on various issues, President Poroshenko has imposed martial law in Ukraine which is seen as the only option to silence oppositions and postpone the upcoming elections, which is supposed be held on March 31, 2019.
There is no doubt that the United States and its European allies will continue to back Ukraine government in every platforms but unfortunately, they can’t change the situations besides condemning and imposing more sanctions on Russia.
**About the author: *Manabhanjan Meher, Research Analyst in Europe and Eurasia Centre, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi.
1. “Statement by the President of Ukraine on the approval of the Decree on the introduction of martial law in Ukraine”, November 26, 2018, at https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/zayava-prezidenta-ukrayini-shodo-zatverdzhennya-ukazu-pro-vv-51362
2. Law of Ukraine “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law” (Bulletin of the Verkhovna Rada, 2015, No 28, p. 250), in Oleksandr Lytvynenko, Philipp Fluri and Valentyn Badrack (eds.) The Security Sector Legislation Of Ukraine, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces and Сenter for Аrmy, Сonversion and Disarmament Studies, Geneva – Kyiv, 2017, pp. 76, at https://www.dcaf.ch/sites/default/files/publications/documents/Security%20Sector%20Legislation%20Ukraine%202017_eng.pdf
3. “What Will Change In Ukraine If Martial Law is Imposed: A List of Restrictions and Prohibitions”, November 26, 2018, https://newsone.ua/articles/politics/chto-izmenitsja-v-ukraine-esli-vvedut-voennoe-polozhenie-spisok-ohranichenij-i-zapretov.html
4. “Three former Presidents of Ukraine address Parliament over martial law”, November 26, 2018, at https://112.international/article/three-former-presidents-of-ukraine-address-parliament-over-martial-law-34551.html
5. “Destruction of rights and freedoms under martial law is unacceptable!”, November 26, 2018, at https://www.tymoshenko.ua/en/news-en/destruction-of-rights-and-freedoms-under-martial-law-is-unacceptable
6. “Statement of the Deputy Chairman of the Opposition Bloc parliamentary faction, Oleksandr Vilkul, about trying to enact martial law”, November 26, 2018, at http://opposition.org.ua/en/news/zayava-oleksandra-vilkula-pro-sprobu-vvedennya-voennogo-stanu.html
7. Georgiy Kuhaleyshvili (2018), “Is there any point in declaring martial law in Ukraine?”, November 27, 2018, https://112.international/opinion/is-there-any-point-in-declaring-martial-law-in-ukrain-34597.html
8. “Ukrainian Military Expert Vlad Mulyk: Martial Law will Allow Kiev to Take Away Money from Local Budgets to Finance the Army”, November 29, 2018, http://www.stalkerzone.org/ukrainian-military-expert-vlad-mulyk-martial-law-will-allow-kiev-to-take-away-money-from-local-budgets-to-finance-the-army/
9. Roman Olearchyk (2018), “Ukraine voters struggle to see change ahead of presidential poll”, September 12, 2018, https://www.ft.com/content/1de24cc4-91b4-11e8-9609-3d3b945e78cf
10. Leonid Bershidsky (2018), “Martial Law Won’t Help Ukraine’s President”, November 27, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-11-27/martial-law-won-t-help-ukraine-s-petro-poroshenko-in-russia-clash Reported by Eurasia Review 5 hours ago.
Ahmad Sawadi works with other Syrian exiles to track the whereabouts of defeated Islamic State leaders seeking an escape to Turkey and Europe.
Reported by Wall Street Journal 2 hours ago.
Matteo Salvini has transformed the League into a force and changed Italian attitudes to Europe
Reported by FT.com 2 hours ago.
· *Uber's main rival in Europe, Taxify, has rebranded in the UK to try and ease its path to a relaunch in London.*
· *Taxify has rebranded as Hopp because it legally can't have the word 'taxi' in its name.*
· *Taxify launched in London last year but had to suspend its service because the local transport regulator had questions about its licence.*
· *Taxify said it was optimistic about winning back its licence.*
Uber's main rival in Europe, Taxify, has rebranded to Hopp in a bid to appease London's transport regulator and win back its operating licence in the British capital.
Taxify is hoping the name change will ease its path to a relaunch in London after it was forced to suspend operations last September. Taxify notified drivers about the change in early December.
Part of the reason for the rebrand is a 20-year-old law in the UK which means only traditional black cabs or hackney carriages can call themselves taxis. Private hire vehicles, such as those you would hire through Uber or Taxify, can't call themselves taxis.
A Taxify spokesman confirmed the name change and told Business Insider: "[As] a requirement by [London regulator Transport for London], we’ve applied for a licence with the intention of trading under a different brand in the UK to avoid any confusion with traditional taxi services.
"We're working very closely with TfL at the moment and are optimistic about having good news for Londoners soon."
Transport for London did not respond to a request for comment.
Taxify was founded by 24-year-old Estonian Markus Villig and has raised funding from Daimler and Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing.
*Read more*: The scooter war explodes in Europe as Taxify brings dockless scooters to Paris
It had a short-lived presence in the UK last year, launching on September 4, 2017 but suspending its service just four days later thanks to irregularities over its licence.
Cab firms like Uber and Taxify need operating licenses to do business in the UK, and Taxify had taken a shortcut to a licence by acquiring a small, local firm. Regulators, it turned out, disliked the arrangement.
Taxify appointed a new UK chief in November, ex-Gett CMO Rich Pleeth, and has been trying to win approval for a licence since.
Villig, Taxify's founder, told Business Insider in a November interview at Web Summit that the firm had prioritised adding safety features to its app in order to appease London's regulator.
"I've been working for around 13 months with TfL going through all sorts of procedures to show we're the best operator in terms of safety, operational quality, setting up a call centre, SOS patterns in the app... a tonne of different requirements to show we're really the best operator we can be," he said.
"I think now we see TfL is quite open to new operators...and we are quite hopeful we will receive a licence in the short term, but that's up to their discretion."
If Taxify does relaunch in London, it will be up against more competition. Uber lost its licence to operate in London but won a reprieve after a court battle, while local startup Citymapper operates an on-demand bus service, and ViaVan has been offering cheap rides in the UK capital since April.
*SEE ALSO: Blippar's CEO was too emotional to speak during an internal crisis meeting, and furious insiders are terrified the firm won't survive the week*
Join the conversation about this story »
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Volkswagen's first purpose-built EV is going into production in November 2019, and will stay true to the concept car's design
Volkswagen's upcoming ID, the all-electric hatchback destined to enter production late next year, has been testing in disguise in South Africa.
The first model from the VW brand designed and purpose-built as an EV, the Golf-sized ID will remain largely faithful to the 2016 ID concept, as the new images show.
Director of Volkswagen Design, Klaus Bischoff, previously told Autocar: “The proportions, the design cues and the wheel size are the same as the concept. It looks like the show car. We couldn’t do the camera-system rear-view mirrors for legal reasons, nor the electric door handles due to cost. But other than that, it’s pretty much the same.”
The firm has started on-road testing for its model, with the first pre-production prototypes having rolled off lines in April. Engineers have a 16-month window to complete the car's development. Company boss Herbert Diess revealed that these prototypes would also be used in an "intensive start-up phase" that will begin in September.
The first definitive examples of the ID are due to be produced in November 2019. Customer sales will kick off in Britain at the start of 2020 at what Diess said would be a price "comparable to a diesel model".
The new EV will ignite VW's electric car offensive and is a rear-wheel drive, five-door hatchback.
With an electric motor providing the car with 168bhp, the ID is claimed to boast a range of 249-373 miles, easily eclipsing the 186-mile range of the facelifted version of the e-Golf.
By packaging its electric motor at the rear, VW has freed up space within the front section of the ID, endowing it with an impressively tight turning circle of just 9.9 metres and the promise of excellent manoeuvrability in urban driving environments.
One of the stars of the 2016 Paris motor show, where it was first shown in concept form, the ID will be the first of five new electric models planned by VW, including also an MPV similar to the earlier Budd-e concept wheeled out at the Consumer Electronics Show (also in 2016), ID Crozz SUV, ID Buzz Microbus concept and a saloon.
Built to showcase the design lineage, electric drive technology and modular platform architecture that are set to underpin VW’s EV offensive, the ID concept also provides an insight to the fully autonomous driving functions the company is developing for introduction on selected models from 2025 onwards. Among its more intriguing features is a multi-function steering wheel that stows away within the dashboard when the driver switches to autonomous driving mode via the VW emblem set within its boss.
Styled at VW’s main design studio in Wolfsburg, Germany, the ID sports a highly contemporary appearance that is claimed to set the tone for all of the company’s new electric cars. Commenting on the design process, head of VW brand design Klaus Bischoff said: “We had the unique chance to lead Volkswagen into a new age. Electric drive provides greater freedom for designers. We minimise the cooling holes; the axes move further apart and generate stunning proportions.”
With an illuminated badge making it easily identifiable as a VW, the new car departs quite radically from existing models. Key elements include a largely unadorned front end, ultra-short front overhang, a steeply rising bonnet line, a heavily raked windscreen, large wheel houses housing 20in wheels, prominent sill elements, cantilever-style rear doors, an extended roofline, a prominent rear spoiler element and a glass tailgate.
By eschewing a traditional grille, using flush fitting glass for the side windows and extending the roofline beyond the top of the tailgate, VW’s designers have clearly attempted boost the aerodynamic efficiency of the ID.
At 4100mm in length, 1800mm in width and 1530mm in height, the ID is 155mm longer, 9mm wider and 77mm higher than the existing seventh-generation Golf. It also rides on a wheelbase that is 130mm longer than that of Europe’s perennial best seller at 2750mm.
With interactive LED headlights that have been conceived to mimic the action of a human eye by giving the impression of being able to open and close, as well as LED units concealed within various parts of the exterior, the lighting properties and overall visual character of the ID alters depending on the drive mode.
When parked, the headlight graphic is designed to provide an impression of a closed eye – as if to signal it is asleep. At start-up, the headlights blink and the graphic is altered to convey the action of an eye opening. At the same time, the VW logos front and rear are illuminated in white, while the lower section of the front bumper, side sills and rear diffuser are lit up in blue.
When drive is selected, the LED daytime driving lights are automatically switched on and the VW logos remain lit in white. In autonomous drive mode, a laser scanner deploys from the roof and the front bumper, side sills and rear diffuser are once again illuminated in blue. During recharging, the LED units pulsate in a simulation of the flow of energy being provided to the battery.
Inside, VW has exploited the packaging advantages inherent in pure electric drivetrains to provide its latest concept car with an impressively roomy four-seat interior offering accommodation similar to today’s larger Passat, as well as a comprehensive connectivity package that VW suggests will be part and parcel of all upcoming electric models.
"Before we took a pen in the hand for the ID project, we intensively discussed the importance of future mobility. One thing is certain: the car for the day after tomorrow will be a place of mobile communication. The open space offered by the ID is such a place,” says Bischoff.
While the ID provides seating for four on individual seats, the production version will offer a more conventional layout with space for up to five. VW has yet to reveal nominal boot capacity but says the concept offers up to 980 litres of luggage space when the rear seats are folded down.
Despite its contemporary appearance, VW suggests the production version will rely on existing unibody construction techniques using a combination of hot-formed high-strength steel, aluminium and magnesium. This will allow the company to build the new car in existing factories without the need for significant investment in production infrastructure.
Underpinning the ID is VW’s newly developed MEB (Modular Electric Architecture) platform originally showcased on the Budd-e concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2016.
Providing the ID with zero-emissions capability is a 125kW brushless electric motor mounted within the rear axle housing. The in-house-developed unit drives the concept’s rear wheels via a fixed-ratio gearbox. Although VW has yet to hint at a kerb weight for the first of its dedicated electric cars, computer simulations suggest the production version is set to possess a 0-62mph time of less than eight seconds and a top speed limited to 100mph.
Energy used to drive the electric motor is drawn from a lithium-ion battery mounted low down in the floor of the MEB platform wholly within the wheelbase for the best possible weight distribution. VW has not yet confirmed the capacity of the lithium-ion unit, but Autocar sources say it will be produced in-house for the production model. However, VW describes the battery used by the ID as being scalable and hints at differing capacities in each of its upcoming electric models in much the same way that it offers differing power outputs in today’s combustion engine models.
Little is being said about the charging system for the ID, although going on VW’s claims that its battery can be recharged to 80% within 30 minutes, it appears the car maker may be considering a 800V system similar to that employed by its sibling company Porsche on the Mission E concept revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in 2015.
Despite mounting the electric motor at the rear, VW says there is sufficient space to provide the ID with a multi-link rear-suspension similar to that used by the Golf. It is also key to endowing the new car with a weight distribution put at 48:52 front-to-rear.
VW is targeting one million EV sales annually by 2025.
*Volkswagen ID Lounge: luxury SUV will lead electric line-up*
*Volkswagen CEO: We will launch one electric car per month from 2022*
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