VW has started the conversion of the Emden plant for the production of MEB electric cars. Unlike the plant in Zwickau, Emden will continue the assembly of combustion engines in parallel.
In Saxony, as reported a few days ago Zwickau will become a purely electric plant and the last combustion engine has already rolled off the assembly line. While the ID.4 is to be built in Emden from 2022 onwards with more electric models to follow at a later date, this will happen in parallel with the production of combustion engines. According to VW, production of the Passat saloon and Variant, Arteon and the new Shooting Brake variant will continue for a “transition period of several years”.
In the final expansion stage, the technical production capacity at the site is designed for up to 300,000 electric vehicles. For an investment of around one billion euros, Andreas Tostmann, Volkswagen board member for production and logistics, expects that the plant will be “one of the most advanced plants in the industry”.
The CEO of the Volkswagen brand Ralf Brandstätter who took up the position on 1 July, says: “With the conversion of our plant at Emden into a production location for electric vehicles, Volkswagen is forcing the pace of system change. All in all, the company will invest about €1 billion in the transformation of the factory. Emden will be developed into a cornerstone of our electric strategy”.
A new assembly hall with an area of 50,000 square metres will be built for the MEB electrical engineers for parallel operation with electric cars and combustion engines. According to Volkswagen, the press shop and body shop will also be expanded by 23,000 square metres, the paint shop will be modernised and a new “bi-colour hall” with 6,000 square metres will be added for painting vehicle roofs in black. According to Volkswagen, the bi-colour paintwork is one of the hallmarks of the ID. family. The storage areas will be expanded by summer 2021.
For the conversion in Emden, the Wolfsburg company also wants to use the experience gained in Zwickau. Since autumn 2019, several employees of the Emden plant have been assisting with the installation of the systems and the start-up of ID.3 production in Zwickau. At the same time, the handling of high-voltage components in Emden will not be completely new: The PHEV versions of the Passat have already been built there for several years.