Volkswagen is taking the electric car business seriously with big investments lined up in the same direction. New technology, revamping of production lines, and setting up a new all-electric product lineup is the German automotive giant’s focus right now.
Volkswagen will debut its new MEB (Modular Drive Electric Matrix) under the 2019 ID hatchback. MEB cars will be produced at Zwickau, Braunschweig, Salzgitter, and Kassel with $1.4 billion poured in the Zwickau facility to turn it into the first pure MEB plant. Zwickau will also host the largest centre for e-mobility in Europe. The other three sites will see an investment of $1.5 billion.
Volkswagen is also launching its Wallbox home charging system. All vehicles will be capable of rapid charging, achieving 80 percent charge in 30 minutes. Volkswagen aims to sell 150,000 electric cars including 100,000 models of the I.D. family by 2020. These cars will be made in Germany as part of its “Electric For All” campaign. 10 million vehicles will be produced in the first product lifecycle to create “massive economies of scale”.
By the end of 2022, four of the group’s portfolio of brands, including Audi, SEAT, and Skoda will expand their product lineup to offer as many as 27 different electric models or variants spun off the MEB platform. The battery manufacturing centre will be situated at Braunschweig, and Salzgitter will manufacture motor rotors and stators. A laboratory line is being established at the facility, and it will become the Battery Cell Centre of Excellence (CoE). The laboratory line will be followed by a battery pilot production line.
Christian Senger, Head of the E-mobility Production Series said in a press release, “The I.D will be a milestone in technological development. It will be the first fully electric car with full everyday utility that millions of people will be able to afford.” Volkswagen has earmarked a total of $7 billion for the MEB project which is a small part of its Roadmap E initiative.