Last updated on March 17th, 2022 at 03:16 pm
Volkswagen has begun production of the electric ID.5 and ID.5 GTX marking the completion of Volkswagen’s successful transformation of its Zwickau plant into a dedicated electric vehicle production facility.
Located in western Saxony, Germany, this is the first time a large-scale factory of any volume manufacturer worldwide has been converted from internal combustion vehicle production to dedicated EV production.
With an annual production output of more than 300,000 vehicles, this makes the EV manufacturing plant the most efficient in Europe.
From next year, Volkswagen’s plants in Emden, Hanover and Chattanooga will be added to the EV production network, laying the foundations for a potential output of 1.2 million EVs at its sites in Europe, the USA and China.
These expansion plans are all part of Volkswagen’s ACCELERATE strategy aimed at stepping up the pace of the electric offensive. Its ultimate goal is to be net carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest.
Dr. Christian Vollmer, member of the board of management of Volkswagen Brand responsible for Production, said: “Volkswagen will continue to increase the pace of e-mobility in 2022 with its ACCELERATE strategy and the expansion of the model portfolio.”
“The Zwickau production plant has paved the way for the Group to do this with six ramp-ups from three brands in just 26 months. The knowledge and experience gained will help us to continue to electrify our production network quickly and efficiently.”
Volkswagen has invested around €1.2bn into the Zwickau plant turning it into a highly efficient showcase factory for the manufacture of EVs.
Smart industry 4.0 robots and driverless transportation systems take components to the assembly line fully autonomously. The number of robots in the body shop has risen from 1,200 to 1,625, which means that nearly 90% of this area is automated now. Automation in the assembly line has also doubled to 28%.
“In total, more than 50,000 square meters of new building space have been created, such as for the expansion of the press shop, which is where all shell body parts for the electric models are now pressed on site – saving 9,000 truck trips per year,” said Volkswagen in a statement.
To ensure the plant’s 3,000 employees were brought up to speed with the new production requirements, Volkswagen prepared a major e-mobility training programme about the new technology.
Jens Rothe, chairman of the general works council at Volkswagen Saxony, said: “Switching over to electric vehicle production was exactly the right decision for the Zwickau plant. Demand for our models is booming, and our team’s jobs will be safe for years to come. We are a trailblazer of change and have repaid the Group’s trust in us.”