Production of the Volkswagen ID.3 starts in Zwickau

Production of the ID.3 starts in Zwickau

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.

 

 

More info:

https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en/press-releases/volkswagen-initiates-system-changeover-to-e-mobility-production-of-the-id3-starts-in-zwickau-5529

https://www.volkswagenag.com/en/news/stories/2019/11/how-volkswagen-makes-the-id-3-carbon-neutral.html

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Although production of the ID.3 is now starting, actual sell and deliveries will only happen by mid 2020. That’s a little odd, considering how long the project has been on development.

    1. My understanding is that VW is making the cars now but will install the batteries later. My guess is they are waiting for the NCM 712 battery cells from LG Chem. Seems reasonable to wait a few months to use the best technology available from LG Chem.

      https://roskill.com/news/batteries-umicore-to-supply-125kt-of-high-nickel-cathode-materials-to-lg-chem/

      The entry-level battery should be NCM 811 and come from CATL. Anyway, these are just my suppositions based on some documents.

      1. I haven’t heard anything of cars without battery packs, but that’s plausible. Maybe another reason for the delay is there car sharing offering in Berlin, where they intend to use the ID.3:
        https://www.we-share.io/

      2. All cars made from November to January will be used at VW as company cars and rental for employees exclusive.
        February to March they will make the demo cars for the dealers. April or May the production of costumers configured cars will start.

      3. It’s not a linear ramp up. With every step, production will suddenly jump up sharply.

  2. To likely confirm your suppositions, Pedro, at a presentation in Italy, in Milan, for reservation holders, they said that regular versions (not 1st) will start being delivered (at least in Italy) in early 2021. (And ID.3 1st are all Mid Range. So smaller batteries only in 2021).

    I guess they need the higher energy density cells also for the 77 kWh batteries, otherwise they might have supplied the 1st with those. What do you think ?

    But it’s a great car, with a great price. (I assume the regular mid range version will cost around €35,000)
    Maybe my next car. (Model 3 is a bit too expensive for me, even though it’s great value for the money)
    Nice times !
    Ciao e grazie

    1. Ciao Alok.

      Yes, I think that the 77 kWh battery will have to provide great energy density, otherwise it would be very heavy and expensive. LG Chem can supply NCM 712, while CATL and SK Innovation can supply NCM 811 cells.

      1. Hi~
        I’m a planner from a Chinese startup electic carmaker. I’m following the battery suppliers of ID.3 by interests. Do you know how can I find the cell specifications (such as LGC’s or SKI’s… ) ?
        Thank you very much! ^_^
        Westme Liu

      2. Hi Westme. I would also like to see those cell specifications.

  3. The starting 2020 EU regulations requirements (more EV to compensate emmissions) is also plausible theory… Some manufacturers are already delaying deliveries to 2020 so they can have more EV’s sold in 2020 and thus comply with emission reductions.. it’s not a very ethic pratice but… it works for them

    1. Yes, I also thought that. But why not postponing deliveries to early 2020 like most automakers instead of mid-2020?

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