Volkswagen has almost readied the first of the two assembly lines at its Zwickau plant in Germany, which has been converted from making ICE-powered cars to EVs. The first battery-electric model to start production there will be the ID.3, from November.
Home to 8,000 employees, more than 2,500 of whom are already qualified for e-mobility, the factory has welcomed more than 1,600 production robots over the past few months and will be able to produce 1,500 cars per day, up from 1,350 before the changes. From 2021, all key body parts for other vehicles based on the new MEB platform will also be manufactured at the same site.
“The production start of the ID.3 in November will usher in an entirely new era for Volkswagen – comparable with the first Beetle or the first Golf”, said Member of the Board of Management responsible for E-Mobility, Thomas Ulbrich. “The first 400 pre-series ID.3 vehicles are already on test routes throughout Europe. With the ID.3, Zwickau will become a genuine pioneer of e-mobility.”
With the opening of the second assembly line next summer, Zwickau will become the largest electric vehicle plant on the continent. Overall, Volkswagen is investing about €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) in the transformation of the facility, which has already received an €800 million ($883) cash injection. The plant will be responsible for making six models based on the MEB architecture for three of the Group’s brands from 2021.
The ID.3 will be officially unveiled on September 9, right before the Frankfurt Motor Show opens its doors to the Press. Volkswagen has already registered more than 30,000 reservations for the First Edition since May, when the first started accepting orders, and the first cars will be delivered in mid-2020.