Volkswagen started construction on a $800 million production facility for electric vehicles (EVs) in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The site is set to become the automaker’s assembly base for EV production in North America.
Currently Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing facility assembles the Passat, the Atlas, and will produce a five-seat SUV that was announced in early 2018.
Readying the plant for EV assembly means building a 564,000-square-foot addition to the body shop, according to the automaker. Both internal combustion engine vehicles and battery electric vehicles will be produced on the same assembly line, Volkswagen says. In addition, Volkswagen plans to build a 198,000–square-foot plant dedicated to battery pack assembly at the Chattanooga site.
Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, called the expansion in Tennessee a big moment for the company. “Expanding local production sets the foundation for our sustainable growth in the US,” he said. “Electric vehicles are the future of mobility and Volkswagen will build them for millions, not just millionaires.”
The automaker recently began production on long-range electric vehicles in Zwickau, Germany. Volkswagen says it plans to roll out that assembly worldwide next year in two locations in China and in two other German cities.
Earlier this year, Volkswagen increased its target for electric vehicle production over the next decade from 15 million to 22 million. The company also announced plans to release nearly 70 new EV models by 2028. In July, Volkswagen was among four major automakers to reach a voluntary agreement with the California Air Resources Board on fuel efficiency.
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