Volkswagen To Update Existing Factories To Manufacture EVs

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【Summary】German automaker Volkswagen has announced plans to update its existing factories to accommodate for its new Modular Electric Drive kit (MEB) platform that will underpin the majority of its vehicles in the future.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Feb 06, 2017 4:15 PM PT
Volkswagen To Update Existing Factories To Manufacture EVs

Volkswagen is going all-in on its upcoming electric vehicles. The German automaker, which is looking to put its ongoing diesel emissions troubles behind itself has previewed its future, which consists of radically-designed electric vehicles with autonomous technology.  Take for instance, the VW I.D. Buzz concept that the automaker unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI. 

The concept, which was a modern take on the iconic minibus, as the automaker put it, would be "the world's first electric multi-purpose vehicle to be quipped with a fully autonomous driving mode." The minibus concept wasn't the first electric concept that Volkswagen showcased, as the I.D. Hatchback from last year's Paris Auto Show brought the automaker's plans out into broad daylight. 

Volkswagen Goes All In

Both vehicles, besides being powered by electricity and having self-driving features, are built upon Volkswagen's Modular Electric Drive kit (MEB) platform. The platform will be utilized in all of the automaker's upcoming electric cars. As Volkswagen pointed out, it hopes to manufacture 2 to 3 million EVs per year by 2025. 

In the hopes of reaching its lofty goal, Volkswagen has announced plans to update its existing factories to build its new MEB platform. According to a release by Volkswagen, the automaker's Zwickau plant in Saxony, Germany will be the first to be updated to support Volkswagen's new platform. The plant currently produces the Golf and the Passat, as well as the bodies for the Phaeton and Bentley Continental. 

Other plants that will be upgraded to produce cars on the automaker's MEB platform include its Wolfsburg and Emden plants, which are both in Germany. 

Electricity At The Forefront

Volkswagen's move to update its already existing plants to accommodate for its new wave of technology isn't exactly a surprise. In the middle of last year, the automaker showcased its commitment to electric vehicles at a public event at its "Transparent Factory" in Dresden, Germany. 

Volkswagen could save a large amount of money by converting its current set of facilities to change course and start building the automaker's MEB platform. Manufacturing an entirely new plant would prove to be too costly for the automaker as it continues to work out the wrinkles for its emissions-cheating vehicles.

The automaker is also updating the factory in Dresden to begin building the latest model of its all-electric e-Golf, which should start later this year. 

The first one of Volkswagen's electric vehicles is expected to come out in 2020. The car will be based on the automaker's first concept that it unveiled – the I.D. concept. The Golf-sized electric car is expected to have a range of approximately 300 miles on one charge. The I.D. Buzz microbus, which could even spawn a Uber competitor, will follow closely after the automaker's first electric car, with even more electric vehicles coming in the near future. 

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