VW’s first ID.3 rolls off production line
4 November 2019
Volkswagen has started production of its new ID.3 model, signalling the beginning of its new generation of electric vehicles (EVs).
The first model rolled off the production line in Zwickau, watched by German chancellor Angela Merkel and CEO Herbert Diess. The carmaker plans to sell around 22 million EVs around the world by 2028 and sees the ID.3 as the model to spearhead its campaign.
VW is converting the Zwickau plant for e-mobility, thanks to an investment of €1.2 billion from the carmaker. The facility is scheduled to produce 100,000 EV models in 2020, with this growing to 330,000 units from 2021.
‘The ID.3 will make an important contribution to the breakthrough of e-mobility. It makes clean individual mobility accessible to millions of people and is a milestone for our company on the road to becoming climate-neutral by 2050,’ Diess said at the ceremony in Zwickau.
Production of the new vehicle is carbon-neutral. Emissions from the entire production process that are currently unavoidable are offset, among other things through VW’s investments in the ‘Katingan Mataya Forest Protection’ climate project on the Indonesian island of Borneo. Where it is possible, Zwickau makes use of renewable energy sources, especially in the battery-production phase.
The new car is the first to be mass-produced on VW’s MEB platform. This is regarded as one of the most advanced electric underpinnings in the industry and will be used across VW, Skoda and SEAT brands. Ford too will have access to MEB, with the carmakers agreeing on a deal earlier this year that will see VW benefit from the company’s advanced autonomous technology.
In the final expansion stage from 2021, VW will build six MEB models from three Group brands in Zwickau. Qualification measures are preparing all 8,000 employees for EV production and working with high-voltage technology. In total, the Zwickau team will have completed some 13,000 training days by the end of 2020, which the carmaker says will ensure future-proof jobs at the plant.
‘The ID.3 is a high-tech car from a high-tech factory. With some 1,700 robots, driverless transport systems and fully-automated manufacturing processes, Zwickau gives a contemporary insight into the shape of forward-looking high-volume production of EVs,’ Thomas Ulbrich, Volkswagen board member for e-mobility, commented. ‘Ultimately, though, it is the people who build the cars who are the key to success.
The ID.3 will be launched almost simultaneously on markets throughout Europe in summer 2020.