The carmaker's Zwickau plant has transitioned from making ICE vehicles to EVs only.
Volkswagen has officially started production of the ID.5 and ID.5 GTX electric vehicles at its Zwickau plant in Germany. The production of the carmaker's electric crossover signals a successful transition for the manufacturing facility, which is now dedicated to electric vehicles. Volkswagen says it's the first large-scale facility of any volume manufacturer to switch production from gas- and diesel-powered vehicles to EVs.
A total of six models from Audi, Cupra, and Volkswagen will be made at Zwickau, all based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform. VW's Dr. Christian Vollmer said that the brand will continue to "increase the pace of e-mobility in 2022 with its Accelerate strategy and the expansion of the model portfolio."
As electric cars become more popular, Volkswagen is thinking ahead in terms of meeting the demand for emissions-free vehicles. Chairman of the General Works Council at Volkswagen Saxony, Jens Rothe, shared these sentiments. "Switching over to electric vehicle production was exactly the right decision for the Zwickau plant. Demand for our models is booming, and our team's jobs will be safe for years to come."
Since 2018, Volkswagen has spent €1.2 billion ($1.34 billion) on converting the Zwickau facility into a highly efficient factory for the assembly of electric vehicles. The latest technology has been adopted, including smart Industry 4.0 robots and driverless transportation systems that can deliver components to the production line autonomously. A result of these massive upgrades is an improvement in production ergonomics.
Currently, the plant produces a total of six cars from three marques. This list includes Audi's Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron, the Cupra Born, plus VW's own ID.3, ID.4, and ID.5. Volkswagen notes the plant is the most efficient electric vehicle facility in Europe, with the capacity to achieve an annual output of 300,000 vehicles.
Unfortunately, the sleek ID.5 is set to remain a Europe-only offering for now. Fans of electromobility and VWs alike can, at least, find solace in the fact that the Wolfsburg-based carmaker offers the ID.4 SUV stateside.