Volkswagen announces plans to convert existing factories to build new platform for electric cars


Volkswagen has a lot riding on its new MEB platform – the Modular Electric Drive kit. The company’s plan to convert millions of vehicles production capacity to electric within the next 10 years depends on it.

The automaker first announced that its first all-electric vehicles using the platform will to come to market in 2020 and it now confirmed that the MEB platform will go in production into 2019.

The German automaker’s Zwickau plant in Saxony will be the first to be updated in order to support the new platform.

MEB also supports hybrid vehicles, which is likely why it’s going into production before the all-electric vehicles.

In a press release, Volkswagen also announced that its Wolfsburg plant and the Emden plant will also be upgraded to produce vehicles on the MEB platform.

The first all-electric vehicle on the platform is expected to be based on the I.D. concept, a Golf-size all-electric vehicle with a range of over 300 miles, in 2020 and the I.D.  all-electric microbus is expected to follow soon after.

What is interesting here is that we are talking about a major automaker with massive assets linked to the production of gas and diesel-powered cars being willing to convert those assets to the production of electric vehicles.

It’s still two years away, but in the meantime, VW is upgrading its ‘Transparent Factory’ in Dresden for the production of the latest version of the all-electric e-Golf. It should start in April.

The 2017 e-Golf has now 124 miles of range on a new 35.8 kWh battery pack.

Volkswagen has expressed interest in making electric vehicles in the US also, but so far there’s no word on the conversion of its existing US plants, like the Chattanooga assembly plant pictured above.

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