VW has been talking big lately about producing EVs in volume, but now we’re beginning to see some real action. The German giant has announced plans to add a second assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee to build EVs for VW, and possibly other Volkswagen Group brands.
The company plans to invest $800 million and create 1,000 jobs at the new assembly plant, which will be built next to the existing factory producing ICE vehicles. The facility is to begin producing EVs for North America, based on VW’s MEB modular EV platform, in 2022.
Last year, VW announced that its factory Zwickau, Germany would be the first to be devoted solely to EVs. More recently, it said that it plans to have 8 factories on 3 continents producing EVs by 2022.
The first EV to be produced in Chattanooga will be an electric crossover based on the I.D. Crozz Concept, followed by the I.D. Buzz electric microbus.
VW did not say where it plans to source battery packs for EVs produced at the new plant. However Electrek notes that South Korean battery producer SK Innovation is planning to begin construction soon on a $1.67-billion battery plant just 150 miles southeast of Chattanooga, where it hopes to be producing 9.8 GWh worth of batteries by 2022. Diess told Automotive News in October that VW had already “sourced the batteries for 15 million electric cars.”
“The US is one of the most important locations for us and producing electric cars in Chattanooga is a key part of our growth strategy in North America,” said VW Group CEO Herbert Diess. “The management team, led by Scott Keogh, is committed to continuing to increase our market share in the coming years. Together with our ongoing investments and this increase in local production, we are strengthening the foundation for sustainable growth of the Volkswagen brand in the US.”