Volkswagen Group China begins construction in Anting, Shanghai, of its first factory dedicated to VW’s modular electric drive kit (MEB) platform designed for mass production of electric vehicles.
VW says MEB vehicles will have a more dynamic design, additional space, expanded battery capacity and all-new integrated digital services while being fully prepared for future autonomous-driving implementation.
The first model to be produced at the SAIC VW plant will be a VW-brand SUV in 2020.
Along with the FAW-VW factory in Foshan, which opened this summer, SAIC VW’s plant will begin producing e-cars on the MEB platform immediately after the first worldwide MEB production starts in Zwickau, Germany.
The new plant’s planned annual capacity is 300,000 units, producing a range of all-electric vehicles, including midsize and large SUVs as well as battery systems.
VW Group CEO Herbert Diess says by building the first factory specifically designed for MEB production, VW and its joint-venture partner SAIC VW are opening a new chapter for the Chinese auto industry.
“Through VW’s MEB platform, we will be able to easily produce state-of-the-art electric vehicles for our Chinese customers on a high scale,” Diess says in a statement.
The new plant in Anting will be equipped with more than 1,400 Industry 4.0 standard robots, as well as a range of technologies including artificial intelligence, artificial reality and virtual reality.
Covering 6.6 million sq.-ft. (610,000 sq.-m), the plant’s function areas include pressing equipment, battery-assembly workshops, an elevated stereoscopic warehouse and a proving road.
It has 27 types of environmentally friendly technologies with a special focus on water preservation, energy saving and carbon-dioxide reduction.