Volkswagen has signalled its intention to take on the mighty Tesla in the electric vehicles (EV) market, starting work on its first large-scale EV factory in Shanghai, China.
Volkswagen recently announced that it hopes to sell 10 million cars based on its new electric vehicle platform, hence the building of the immense new factory in Anting, about 19 miles west of Shanghai.
The new VW EV factory will open in 2020 and will build cars based on the company’s MEB (Modular Electric Drive Kit) platform, in addition to the batteries needed to power them.
An electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) will be the first car off the production line, with the factory set to meet the “highest modern standards” of automation and be home to 1,400 robots.
It will, however, pump out a tremendous volume of those cars — at its peak, it’ll produce 300,000 EVs per year. That could be necessary given the sheer size of the Chinese car market, but it could also create the economies of scale that would make EVs more affordable.
Shanghai looks like it will be something of an EV production hub in the future, as Tesla has itself very recently inked a deal on land for its Shanghai Gigafactory.
The immense Shanghai VW EV factory is set to produce an impressive 300,000 vehicles per year, which is a strong indication of the projected size of this fast-growing new market.