Volkswagen has announced that it has plans to manufacture 50 million electric cars based on its modular MEB platform and has earmarked $56 billion for the purchase of batteries.
Volkswagen has stated in September that it planned to sell a million EVs annually by 2025, beginning with the sales of the 2020 I.D. electric hatchback. “The [MEB] platform is already booked for 50 million electric cars,” said VAG CEO Herbert Diess in an interview with Automotive News. “We have sourced the batteries for 50 million electric cars, so this is a huge momentum coming, and probably from a volume piece, I think we have the best setup strategy for the electric vehicles to come.
“The first car we will be launching next year, early 2020, will be the I.D., the size of a Golf, but because it’s a full-electric platform, it has the interior space of a Passat,” he added. “It has 400 to 600 kilometres (249 to 373 miles) of range, fast acceleration, fast charging and comes at the price of a diesel.”
It is as yet unknown whether the I.D. will be the sub-$23,000 EV reportedly on the agenda for discussion by VW executives at a board meeting scheduled this Friday. However, the carmaker’s existing facilities won’t be able to manufacture one million electric cars every year given their current capacity. The company has a solution to the problem too.
“Just last week, I was in China,” Diess continued. “We broke ground for a car plant which will only produce electric cars. We have our first plant in Germany which only will produce electric cars.” He declined to elaborate on whether Volkswagen would install another factory in the United States for EVs or whether its current Chattanooga facility would be updated to accommodate the new cars.
“We’re considering. It’s too early to announce, but we are considering, we are considering launches, but I would leave that to Scott [Keogh, ex-Audi USA president]. He has to make up his mind,” said Diess. “We set up the plant in Chattanooga always with the idea to be able to grow it, to mirror it. The plant is still too small, and we are considering different options—it might be electric cars, it might be a different derivative of the Atlas—it’s still open.”