Volkswagen announced plans to add electric vehicle engineering at its factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The German automaker mentioned plans to develop cells and battery packs at the US plant.
The German automaker has been hard at work developing its next-generation electric cars based on its MEB platform. Much of the work happened in Germany, where VW already converted a factory to electric vehicle production.
By 2022, they plan to bring their MEB electric vehicles to the US and produce them there. Now they are also building a new electric vehicle factory next to their existing plant in Chattanooga. The German company is now announcing that it will also engineer EVs in the country.
Volkswagen announced a new Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga that will “develop and test electric vehicle cells and battery packs”:
To power those efforts, Volkswagen‘s Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga will soon feature a unique, state-of-the-art high-voltage laboratory designed to develop and test electric vehicle cells and battery packs for upcoming models assembled in the United States.
Wolfgang Maluche, vice president of engineering at Volkswagen of America, said:
There are two ways that auto companies approach the development of electric vehicle batteries. A lot of them will farm out the development and testing of batteries to another company, and some will actually do the work of developing and testing in-house. We are doing the latter.
VW said that they will break ground “soon,” and that the new lab will be “fully operational by spring 2021.” It is being built alongside VW’s electric vehicle factory at the site.
The factory is going to start producing the ID.4 in early 2022.
The VW ID.4 is going to be a small SUV, roughly the size of the Tesla Model Y, with over 250 miles of range and a starting price of around $40,000.
An electric VW minibus is expected to follow shortly after.