Volkswagen to Build two EVs in the US

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【Summary】To kick start its EV production goals, Volkswagen has committed to manufacturing two EVs in the US: I.D. Crozz and I.D. Buzz.

Michael Cheng    Jul 25, 2018 9:40 AM PT
Volkswagen to Build two EVs in the US

Earlier this month, the final piece to Volkswagen's Electrify America was finally unveiled. According to a timely announcement, the automaker will move forward with plans to build EVs in the US.

In the past year, the company has been busy setting up EV charging networks and programs in the country. Moreover, Volkswagen previously revealed plans to establish EV manufacturing plants worldwide but failed to provide a specific date for the establishment of automotive sites in the US. With the automaker's most recent commitment to build and roll out EVs in the country, its expansive presence in the global EV industry will be more complete.

Meeting Local Demand

To kick start its EV production goals, Volkswagen has committed to manufacturing two EVs in the US: I.D. Crozz and I.D. Buzz. The latter vehicle is a modern version of the iconic Volkswagen microbus. The electrified model will receive numerous upgrades, in addition to a battery-powered engine. The auto brand will release two tiers of the retro van. The top tier version features up to 369 horsepower and a larger battery pack, compared to the 268-horsepower variant (range of 200 miles per full charge).

On the other hand, the I.D. Crozz is a compact crossover that comes with a dual motor powertrain. Both units will enter production in 2020 and 2022.

"For strong product momentum, they need to be produced in the USA," said Hinrich Woebcken, Head of Operations at Volkswagen North America.

"It's not possible to come into a high volume scenario with imported cars. We want to localize electric mobility in the US."

Volkswagen did not clarify where the new EVs will be built. The company already operates an automotive plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Capable of producing up to 150,000 units per year, it manufactures the Passat and Atlas at the location. The latter vehicle is considered to be the largest SUV made by the business. Currently at full capacity, it doesn't seem feasible (at the moment) to build EVs at the crowded manufacturing facility.

Activating EV Networks in North America

Interestingly, Volkswagen's electrified presence in North America is likely just getting started. Based on Electrify America and Electrify Canada (Canadian version of Electrify America), the auto brand is investing large amounts of money in charging infrastructure. For Electrify Canada, the carmaker is introducing EV stations in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta.

Operating a wide, comprehensive network of EV chargers with cross-border features (same network across multiple countries) is extremely beneficial for consumers. Once activated, individuals can take road trips without experiencing range anxiety. Because the EV charging hubs accept credit card payments, customers don't have to fumble with different currencies and banknotes.  

"The Canadian electric vehicle market is growing, creating a great need for charging that is fast, convenient and available in key locations," explained Daniel Weissland, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group Canada.

"We are thrilled to be able to offer this service and to take a leadership position in providing this key EV adoption enabler to the Canadian market."

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