04 Nov 2019, 14:13
Benjamin Wehrmann

Volkswagen announces 'system change' as production of e-car model ID.3 starts

Clean Energy Wire

The beginning of serial production of Volkswagen's e-car flagship model ID.3 in a factory in Zwickau marks a "system change" for Germany's biggest carmaker, the company says in a press release. "The ID.3 will make an important contribution to e-mobility's breakthrough. It makes clean individual mobility available to millions of people and is a milestone on the way to 2050 climate neutrality," VW CEO Herbert Diess said at a ceremony for the first car's roll-out. The ID.3 is based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB), which is at the core of VW's electric ambitions. Volkswagen says the Zwickau plant will be Europe's biggest e-car factory and anchor point for a "strong e-car cluster" in Germany. The company plans to produce 100,000 cars in the factory next year and increase production to up to 330,000 cars annually after 2021. The ID.3 will be launched across Europe by summer 2020. According to business journalist Christiaan Hetzner, Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the ceremony that the government's climate package stipulates up to ten million e-cars and one million charging points in Germany by 2030. "We need that many to ensure compliance with European fleet emission targets."

Ailing from the fallout of the dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen earlier this year announced a strategic turnaround and announced billions of euros of investments in e-mobility and dozens of electric car models over the next decade in what observers have called a "game changer" for the automotive industry. VW said the share of e-cars in its product portfolio will reach at least 40 percent by 2030 but warned that this shift would also mean that thousands of jobs are at risk due to the shift in strategy.

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