Volkswagen recently kicked off production of the ID.3, and now the company is gearing up to build electric vehicles in the United States.
As part of an $800 (£623 / €727) million investment, the automaker will expand their plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee to build electric vehicles.
Construction is just getting underway, but Volkswagen will expand the plant’s body shop by 564,000 square feet (52,397 square meters). Volkswagen says this will create approximately 1,000 jobs and turn the facility into a “North American assembly base for electric vehicles.”
Production is slated to begin in 2022 and Volkswagen said both battery and ICE-powered vehicles will be built on the same assembly line. This means the production version of the ID Crozz concept will be built alongside the Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport and Passat.
Besides expanding the body shop, Volkswagen will build an all-new plant for assembling battery packs. This facility will span 198,000 square feet (18,395 square meters).
While production of electric vehicles is still over two years away, Volkswagen will begin hiring workers in early 2020. An assortment of jobs will be available including positions for supervisors and specialists as well as engineers who specialize electrical, mechanical, manufacturing, chemical, software and quality fields.
Volkswagen has previously announced the ID.4 will be unveiled in February and this suggests the model will debut at the Chicago Auto Show. Regardless of where it debuts, the crossover will initially be built in Zwickau, Germany.
In a statement, Volkswagen of America CEO Scott Keogh said “This is a big, big moment for this company” as “expanding local production sets the foundation for our sustainable growth in the U.S.” He added, “Electric vehicles are the future of mobility and Volkswagen will build them for millions, not just millionaires.”
Little is known about the ID.4, but it’s slated to have a dual motor 4Motion all-wheel drive system. In the ID Crozz II concept, the front motor produced 101 hp (75 kW / 102 PS) while the rear motor developed 201 hp (150 kW / 204 PS). This setup gave the model a combined output of 302 hp (225 kW / 306 PS).
The concept also had an 83 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, but that’s larger than the 45-, 58- and 77 kWh units offered in the ID.3. As a result, it’s unclear if the ID.4 will have a larger battery or adopt the smaller packs used in the ID.3.