Volkswagen will be investing nearly half a billion dollars into their Wolfsburg plant to retool the facility for electric vehicle (EV) production.
In a press release on Wednesday VW said the €465 million ($485 million) investment will primarily go towards production lines for the new ID.3 facelift. The German automaker is hoping to begin partial production of the electric hatchback in 2023 with full production slated to start in 2024.
The ID.3 will also continue to be built at their Zwickau factory in Germany.
After the ID.3 VW says work will also be completed for an “all electric model for the booming SUV market.” The new electric SUV will be based on their Modular Electric Drive System (MEB) platform, which will undergo further revisions to make it more efficient, becoming MEB+ in the process.
“Volkswagen stands for electromobility for everyone. And Wolfsburg will be part of this success story. Here at our main plant alone, we will be investing some €460 million by the beginning of 2025, getting the factory ready for the MEB. The ID.3ramp-up is the first important step towards the electrification of our main plant. At the same time, we are working closely with the Works Council to bring a further electric model based on the MEB+ to Wolfsburg – this will be a high-volume model for the booming SUV segment. With these strong decisions and investments, we intend to bolster the competitiveness of this factory further and give the workforce a concrete long-term perspective,” said Thomas Schäfer, CEO of the Volkswagen brand and Group Board Member for the Volume brand group.
VW did not provide further details on the MEB+ platform, like when it was be ready for production, but did say it will allow for faster charging and longer driving ranges. The automaker also confirmed VW that their “highly standardized unit cell manufactured at [their] own cell factory in Salzgitter” will also be integrated into the MEB+.
“The MEB still has significant potential. Our ambition is to take this platform to the next level. To that end, we are making substantial investments in advancing this technology. The MEB+ puts us in an excellent position for the coming years,” Schaffer added.
VW hopes to have Wolfsburg be producing only electric vehicles by 2033. The facility currently builds internal combustion engine vehicles like the Tiguan and Golf.