Volkswagen still doesn’t have a full all-electric car program from the ground up in production, but it is already seeing demand for EVs increasing and it decided to turn to its compliance EV, the e-Golf, to satisfy demand.
Last week, VW announced that it will be adding a new shift on the e-Golf production line at the Transparent Factory in Dresden in order to double their production capacity.
The German automaker wrote in a press release:
“To meet higher demand for the e-Golf, production capacity at the Transparent Factory is to be increased. From March 2018, production is to increase step-by-step from 35 to 70 vehicles per day. The plant will switch from single-shift operation to 2-shift operation in the course of this change.”
They say that the move, which is coming just ahead of Volkswagen launching its next-generation EVs, is due to increasing demand for electric vehicles in Europe and especially in their home country due to the recent federal EV incentive and the old diesel scrappage program.
In order to help mitigate the impact of emissions from diesel cars, which came even more to light following the Dieselgate, automakers are offering rebates when scrapping an old diesel car and buying a less polluting vehicle.
The “environmental incentives” vary from €2,000 to €10,000 and buyers can get greater incentives when buying an electric vehicle to replace their diesel car.
Volkswagen says that “about eight percent” of the buyers in this program end up buying EVs.
Right now VW has nothing else to respond to the demand than the e-Golf, which explains this move.
To be fair, you can do worse than a e-Golf when it comes to compliance EVs. The 2017 e-Golf received a significant range increase with an EPA rating of 125 miles thanks to a new 35.8 kWh battery pack.
But it’s definitely not optimized to be an electric vehicle, which is why VW is using a brand new platform built especially for electric vehicles in order to launch its next-generation EVs.
Though it looks like the automaker, just like most established automakers in my opinion, misjudged the demand for EVs. It hasn’t planned to start producing them in volume until 2019, but now it is forced to turn to a compliance EV as regulations are driving demand even in their home country.
While other European countries, like Norway and the Netherlands, have been pushing EV incentives for years now, it has only been over the last year that Germany joined the group.
It’s interesting to now see domestic automakers in this automotive hub reacting to this change.