Volkswagen has confirmed US$7.1 billion will be invested into its North American infrastructure over the next five years as it targets 55 per cent of its sales will come from electric vehicles by 2030.
As part of this plan, Volkswagen aims to introduce “more than 25 new battery electric vehicles to American consumers” by 2030.
“American ingenuity and manufacturing know-how are at the heart of our strategy for growth, and thousands of men and women are working hard every day throughout North America to bring the Volkswagen brand to life for consumers,” Volkswagen Group of America CEO and President Scott Keogh explains. “This profound commitment to our localized capabilities will transform Volkswagen into one of the leading EV brands known for its commitment to innovation, quality, and the communities we call home.”
Following the ID.4’s arrival, sales of the newly launched ID. Buzz will begin in 2024. Though VW does not go into specifics, “new electric SUVs” will arrive in 2026, and these are expected to include the upcoming ID.5 and the future flagship ‘Project Trinity.’
Currently more than 90 per cent of Volkswagens sold in North America are also assembled there, a network on which the brand hopes to bolster EV production. The Group previously revamped its Chattanooga plant to the tune of around US$800 million, starting in 2019, ahead of the start of production for the ID.4 this year.
VW is now looking to similarly upgrade its Puebla and Silao plants in Mexico in readiness for production of EVs and related componentry by 2025. This would include building the MEB platform that currently underpins VW’s ‘ID’ range as well as Audi’s Q4 and Q5 e-trons, but also the scalable SSP architecture on which the Group’s EVs will be built from 2026 onwards.
Interestingly, the Volkswagen Group has stated its intention to “phase out gasoline-powered vehicles from its American line-up” ahead of their exit from sales completely before 2031, though the emphasis on ‘America’ suggests similar plans for Canada have yet to be finalized.
Alongside this, VW is also looking to build up its battery cell production in North America. Operations will start in May at the brand’s new Battery Engineering Lab in Chattanooga, into which US$22 million has already been pumped. The BEL facility will be used to test and validate batteries for EVs entering the North American marketplace. Following a new supply partnership with SK Innovation, VW is also exploring options for another new plant to further increase battery cell production, though confirmed plans are not expected to come to fruition before the end of the year.