Volkswagen announced today that it had begun series production of the ID.4 electric crossover at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The vehicle has become the first EV that the automaker has ever made in the United States.
“We’re just starting to write a new chapter for Volkswagen in America, and it is very much an American story,” said Thomas Schäfer, Chairman of the global Volkswagen brand. “We couldn’t be prouder to see that vision realized today with our ID.4 electric flagship rolling off the lines. This is another milestone in Volkswagen’s ambitious electrification strategy for the U.S. market and globally.”
The start of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga EV production line is the result of $800 million in investments to the plant. The site has been given a dedicated facility for battery pack assembly and will receive cells from SK Innovation’s plant in Georgia. It is now the sixth location at which VW makes EVs globally.
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Volkswagen says it will source almost all of the parts for the EV from North America, with things like the steel, the interior, and electronics coming from Alabama, South Carolina, and Kentucky. That is the result of a further $2.7 billion in investments throughout the North American continent from the automaker.
The ID.4 has quickly become VW’s most popular electric model. Since 2021, it has sold 190,000 of them to customers around the globe. It aims to make another 7,000 ID.4s per month in Chattanooga by the end of 2022, with production continuing to ramp up in 2023.
To start, VW will make both rear- and all-wheel-drive versions of the ID.4 in Chattanooga. Both will feature the 82 kWh (77 kWh net) battery pack that is currently offered in the U.S. with the imported model that is currently sold here. Later this year, though, the automaker plans to sell a lower-priced, rear-wheel-drive version of the vehicle that has a 62 kWh battery pack.
Customers can expect to start seeing American-made ID.4s in dealerships across the U.S. starting in October of this year. The automaker has committed $7.1 billion to North America over the next five years to expand its product portfolio even further. It expects 55 percent of U.S. sales to be fully electric by 2030.