Volkswagen's new CEO is actively searching for a location to build an electric car factory in North America.
It's crazy to us at InsideEVs that Volkswagen is doing so much to promote and gear up for its electric car efforts. We're impressed by the company's massive charging network plans and its increasing announcements of a plethora of upcoming EVs. In addition, the automaker has discussed the potential for multiple battery factories and is looking for global locations to build EV factories. We can only hope that all these efforts will pay off. However, we struggle to cover VW's press releases and social media shares since there is so much contradictory information and automaker does not yet have much to show for its efforts.
We are eager and supportive of VW coming forth with an onslaught of affordable and compelling EVs. Despite the whole "Dieselgate" conspiracy, we want and NEED this to happen as much as anyone, and these huge steps are exciting. Let's hope together that Volkswagen is sincere and on point and can make its plans a reality.
VW Group of America's new CEO Scott Keogh specifically said (via Reuters) that this new North American plant must be established before the automaker can officially reveal a new, undisclosed electric car that will be priced around $30-40k and will arrive in 2020. VW Group has already announced spending multiple billions on research, development, and deployment of EVs, on top of new efforts in partnership with Ford.
The automaker currently maintains a U.S. site in Chattanooga, Tennessee. As far as Keogh is concerned, there may be enough space at that plant to move forward. However, he says that it may not be the final answer. VW is looking at options beyond the already established facility. He makes it clear that, despite Tesla's current success, there is huge opportunity in the U.S. According to the CEO, VW can still take hold off the ever-growing electric car market. Keogh concludes:
The market timing actually is quite perfect. You need to have this intersection of, ‘Can you get costs down enough that you can produce a car at that price point, make enough money, have the technology capabilities that this is a car that we would want to put in the marketplace, and have market acceptance? And when all these things intersect that’s ideally when you want to throw the dart.
All we can do is hope that VW's plans play out. If all successfully materializes, it will wow the segment. Fortunately, our own long-time EV expert Tom Moloughney was able to speak with VW execs at the L.A. Auto Show and voice his/our concerns. Hopefully, some new information was gleaned via the interview. We plan to share his insights more in the coming days.