Today Volkswagen started the production of the much-awaited electric car ID.3 at its Zwickau factory. This factory is scheduled to produce 100.000 electric cars next year and 330.000 in 2021.
Volkswagen new electric cars based on the MEB platform have the potential of becoming as important as the Tesla Model 3 currently is to push electric cars into the mainstream.
Let’s see the press release.
Volkswagen’s electric offensive is picking up speed: Today saw the official start of series production of the ID.301. The first car in the new generation of electric vehicles (EVs) – a white ID.3 – rolled off the assembly line watched by Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess. The Volkswagen Group plans to sell some 22 million EVs worldwide by 2028, thus helping EVs make the breakthrough. Zwickau has a key role to play in this endeavor: For the first time, a large car manufacturing plant is being entirely converted to e-mobility, with investments running at €1.2 billion. Zwickau is already scheduled to produce some 100,000 electric models next year. From 2021, up to 330,000 EVs will leave the assembly line each year, making the site the largest and most efficient EV factory in Europe and a trailblazer in the transformation of Volkswagen’s global production network.
Initial production will use LG Chem battery cells made in Poland.
The battery cells for ID.3 are supplied by the Korean company LG Chem, which manufactures the cells in Europe and invested in a production facility in Poland. A long time ago, Volkswagen agreed with LG Chem that only certified green electricity would be used to manufacture the battery cells. CO2 emissions from this sector are thus reduced to almost zero.
The Volkswagen ID.3 will be available with 3 battery options.
- Standard range: 45 kWh (usable) and 330 km of WLTP range
- Mid range: 58 kWh (usable) and 420 km of WLTP range
- Long range: 77 kWh (usable) and 550 km of WLTP range
Volkswagen is adopting the same strategy as Tesla and will delay the release of the entry-level variant.
The Chinese battery maker CATL intends to start European production by the end of 2020 near Erfurt, capital of the German state of Thuringia. My guess is that CATL will produce the standard range battery pack, therefore I don’t expect the entry-level variant to be available in 2020.
Anyway, I’m optimistic about the Volkswagen ID.3, it seems to be the only electric car with production figures that could match the Tesla Model 3 in 2021. Most electric cars have ridiculous production figures that prove that they are just vanity projects and automakers aren’t serious about them.