Volkswagen builds 200 pre-production vehicles of ID.3 electric car

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 11 May 2019

Quality check of new ID.3 at the Zwickau car plant (from left): Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, Heiko Rösch, Head of body construction, and Reinhard de Vries, MD Technology & Logistic VW Saxony.

Conversion of the vehicle factory in Zwickau to the largest production site for electric mobility in Europe is on schedule. More than 200 pre-production vehicles of the ID.3 have already been manufactured successfully.

The first ID. production vehicles are to roll off the assembly line at the end of 2019. Only e-cars will be built at Zwickau by the end of 2020 – up to 1,500 a day for Volkswagen and other Group brands.

The largest and most efficient e-car plant in Europe is currently being established in Zwickau. It is the world’s first complete transformation of a large car factory. In the future, the plant will solely make e-vehicles based on the Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) and have a production capacity of 330,000 vehicles a year.

Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, said: “It’s my firm conviction that Germany as an automotive location must also lead the way when it comes to electric mobility. That’s why we’re deliberately converting the Zwickau plant into the largest and most efficient e-car site in Europe.  Zwickau can become a model for transformation in our industry.”

Thomas Ulbrich, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Brand, said: “The transformation to electric mobility is a huge task for Volkswagen, Volkswagen Sachsen and its workforce. We’ve successfully accomplished the first phase of that. Around half of the 1,500 new robots for body construction are already in operation, for example. The paint shop is currently being expanded and we’ll commence conversion of the first line in final assembly as planned in the summer.”

Jens Rothe, Chairman of the Central Works Council and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Sachsen, praised the broad-scale education drive for employees flanking the move toward electric mobility. “We’re working intensely to prepare our colleagues for the new topics. Around 2,800 of the 8,000 employees have already undergone training. We’re making good progress in that.” In particular, Rothe urged policymakers and municipalities to take quicker and bolder action in expanding the charging infrastructure. “We need a lot more commitment here. My fear is that the right priorities are not always being set in this regard.”

Volkswagen itself will expand the charging infrastructure in Zwickau from the current figure of 36 charging points at and around the plant to some 180 in the coming 18 months.

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