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Volkswagen plans to build a factory for affordable electric vehicles in the United States, the company’s new head of North American operations, Scott Keogh told media at an industry event, as quoted by Reuters.
The plan is part of the German automaker’s ambitious foray in to EVs that seeks to establish it as a leader in the space currently dominated by Tesla and Chinese carmakers who rule the local market, which is the biggest car market globally.
“We are 100 percent deep in the process of ‘We will need an electric car plant in North America,’ and we’re holding those conversations now,” Keogh said.
The executive’s announcement comes a few days after Volkswagen said it will convert two factories in Germany to EV production to meet its deadlines for commercial production. This will make a total of three German factories the major will use for making EVs only.
Volkswagen earlier in November announced a budget of US$50 billion (44 billion euro) for the development and production of electric cars, autonomous vehicles, and so-called new mobility services, over the next five years.
Chief executive Herbert Diess last month told German weekly Automobilwoche that the company had struck battery production deals that would allow it to churn out 50 million electric vehicles, but a company spokesman later clarified Diess had meant the 50 million cars as a theoretical, long-term production target.
Theoretical or not, Volkswagen has plans in place to release a total 27 models of electric vehicles, beginning mass production in late 2022. The initial target is 10 million, according to a Reuters report from September.
To that end, the company developed a special EV manufacturing platform dubbed MEB, or modular electrification kit. With its help, Volkswagen is looking to sell 3 million EVs annually by 2025 and eventually become the leader in the EV space globally.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.