VW has provided an update on the conversion of the Emden plant for the production of MEB electric cars, which started in July 2020. Completion is scheduled for the first half of 2022, with EV volume production to begin with the ID.4. VW has also confirmed other models, including an electric estate.
After the electric SUV, which will also continue to be manufactured in Zwickau for the European markets in parallel, the fully electric series versions of the ID.Vizzion and ID.Space Vizzion show cars will also come off the production line in Emden from 2023. These are a sedan and the accompanying estate car the size of a Passat. The sedan study was unveiled in 2018 with a 111 kWh battery (for 650 kilometres of range according to WLTP), while the station wagon study shown in 2019 featured the familiar 77 kWh battery.
Incidentally, the Passat and the related Arteon and Arteon Shooting Brake models will continue to be built in Emden “in a transitional phase lasting several years”. Later, however, Emden is to become a pure electric car plant.
Six new production halls and logistics buildings are being built for the production of electric vehicles. For the production of the MEB electric cars, among other things, a 25,000-square-metre body construction hall was built within ten months (called Hall 19), in which about 450 pieces of equipment will be used. From there, it goes to the plant’s modernised paint shop, which among other things, has been expanded to include a “bi-colour hall” – where the optionally black-painted roofs get their colour. A new hall of around 60,000 square metres houses the final assembly of the MEB electric cars and a battery warehouse.
With the transformation of the Emden plant, VW will train all of the approximately 8,000 employees at the site for electromobility. “The transformation to e-mobility is becoming more and more concrete in Emden. Since the beginning of the transformation, the Emden Volkswagen workforce has done a great job,” says VW Board Member for Production Christian Vollmer during a site visit. “The entire plant has developed rapidly. We need this commitment because Emden is an important location for our brand’s electrification offensive.” Emden is becoming an innovative e-plant with state-of-the-art and, above all, environmentally friendly production, Vollmer said.
Plant manager Uwe Schwarz states that there has never been a comparable conversion in Emden before. “In addition to building new halls, we are already converting the first processes, preparing for the start-up of the ID.4 next year, and all of this while the plant is still in operation: the existing body shop is currently producing the first individual parts of the ID.4 for testing and running in the equipment,” says Schwarz. “In addition, start-up workshops and production-related qualifications are already taking place.”
In addition to the revamped MEB plant in Emden, Volkswagen has commissioned the expansion of its press shop at the Zwickau electric car plant. From now on, the entire outer shell for the six electric models produced in Zwickau will be pressed on-site. From now on, this will save more than 9,000 direct truck journeys for body construction and thus 5,800 tonnes of CO2 annually.
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