Volkswagen breaks ground on new EV production facility in US

WCN Editorial Team 14 Nov 2019 NORTH AMERICA BUILDINGS

German automaker Volkswagen has broken ground on a new electric vehicle (EV) production facility at Chattanooga, Tennessee, with scheduled production of vehicles due to begin in 2022.

The new site will become Volkswagen’s North American base for assembling electric vehicles, the company stated.

The company is investing nearly $800m at the Chattanooga facility and once complete, the facility will create nearly 1,000 jobs.

Volkswagen Group of America president and CEO Scott Keogh said: “This is a big, big moment for this company. Expanding local production sets the foundation for our sustainable growth in the U.S. Electric vehicles are the future of mobility and Volkswagen will build them for millions, not just millionaires.”

The plant expansion includes the addition of 564,000ft² of space to the body shop. The place will be used for building both internal combustion engine vehicles along with battery electric vehicles on the same assembly line.

Recently, the automaker began long-range EV production in Zwickau, Germany and is expected to roll out assembly worldwide including in Anting and Foshan, in China, in 2020 and the German cities of Emden and Hanover by 2022.

The company stated that the production version of the ID. CROZZ will be assembled initially in Zwickau and eventually, the production of the vehicle will begin in Chattanooga in 2022.

It also plans to build a 198,000ft² plant for assembling the battery packs for EVs at the Chattanooga site.

Volkswagen Chattanooga CEO Tom du Plessis said: “Electric vehicle and electric vehicle battery production require new and different technical skills than those we currently use.

“We're working with our colleagues abroad, as well as with the Volkswagen Academy, to ensure our team members are well-prepared.”

According to the company, hiring at the plant will begin early next year and will continue as needed to ramp up production.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said: “With Volkswagen’s expansion, Tennessee is on the cutting edge of the move to electric vehicles and our workforce is up to the challenge.

“We look forward to a continued partnership with VW and the growth of advanced manufacturing in Chattanooga and beyond.”

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Image: Rendering of the new Chattanooga site, where Volkswagen aims to produce EVs. Photo: Courtesy of Volkswagen AG/Business Wire.

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