Volkswagen has pledged €460 million (A$718 million) to get its Wolfsburg plant ready to produce the ID.3 electric hatch, and an as-yet unreleased electric ID SUV.
Development will begin between in the second quarter of 2023, and full functionality will be achieved by the beginning of 2025, transforming the site into an “e-mobility factory” focused on producing the Volkswagen ID.3.
Volkswagen passenger cars CEO Thomas Schäfer said, “We will be getting the factory ready for the MEB. The ID.3 ramp-up is the first important step towards the electrification of our main plant.”
The first units of the ID.3 will begin rolling off the Wolfsburg line next year, reaching full production capacity in 2024. The ID.3 is currently built in Zwickau, Germany. It’s on track to arrive in Australia after a mid-life refresh.
In 2025, after the full-scale production of the ID.3 is underway, Volkswagen will also start building a electric compact SUV on the same assembly line.
“That is the largest vehicle segment worldwide, it is home to our popular Tiguan. The new model would ideally complement our bestselling ID.4 and ID.5,” said Mr Schäfer.
Previous teasers point to the ID. Life being that car. Revealed in concept form during September 2021, the Life looks smaller than the Tiguan – although Volkswagen has previously said its MEB platform cars will offer significantly more interior space than their exterior dimensions would suggest.
The SUV will be based on an upgraded version of Volkswagen’s electric architecture named the Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB). The improved MEB+ platform will provide faster charging speeds and longer ranges of up to 700km, the brand says.
Volkswagen clearly intends to use the Wolfsburg site to drive its push towards an all-electric future, which it has committed to reaching by 2033.
A decision has not yet been made on whether the flagship Trinity EV will be manufactured alongside the ID.3 at the Wolfsburg plant, or if a new facility will be built nearby.
Hero picture: ID.3 production in Dresden, Germany