VW set to build North American center for electric vehicles

Volkswagen has announced plans to expand its facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee to include a new section dedicated to electric vehicles (EVs).

In a press release the German automaker said an Engineering and Planning Center (EPC) will 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”.

VW US plant rendering

Construction of the EPC is set to begin soon, with the goal of being fully operational by spring 2021. According to VW, it will feature cutting-edge equipment, including pressure testers, explosion-rated climate chambers and a custom multi-axis shaker table (MAST). If you’re like us and you don’t know what that is, it is designed to test the integrity of vehicle components in some of the roughest conditions they might face on the road.

VW has ambitious plans for the EV lineup, based on their MEB platform. So far all of their EVs have been built in Germany and destined for the European market. Their first foray into Canada and the US will be with the ID.4 electric SUV, set to be released late in 2021.

But before that can happen, the German automaker must get past the software problems plaguing their first EV, the ID.3.

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