Volkswagen Is Building A New Electric Car Factory In America

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VW's new electric car plant will open by 2022.

Volkswagen’s EV revolution is happening sooner, rather than later. While US production of the automaker’s I.D. electric car range was originally expected to take place at its existing Chattanooga factory in Tennessee, the automaker has now confirmed it will build a new plant in North America dedicated entirely to electric car production. Volkswagen says the facility will open by 2022, but a specific location hasn’t been confirmed.

“There is no decision done so far,” said Thomas Ulbrich, Volkswagen’s board member for e-mobility. “We think there’s a natural fit to Chattanooga, but there’s no planning done so far.” Based on his comment, it sounds like Chattanooga could still be expanded for EV production, especially as the plant currently only produces the Atlas SUV and the Passat sedan.

The new North American factory will be one of 16 electric-car production plants that VW intends to have around the world by 2022 as part of a colossal $40 billion investment. Most of these will be in China, two of which will be new to help Volkswagen avoid taxes on selling EVs over there. The rest will be located in Europe.

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Currently, the e-Golf EV is built in plants in Wolfsburg and Dresden, both in Germany. Next year, Volkswagen’s Zwickau plan, also in Germany, will be converted into a pure EV production factory that will have the capacity to produce 330,000 electric cars per year starting with the I.D. hatchback and I.D. Crozz crossover.

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