Volkswagen To Double e-Golf Production To Meet High Demand

DEC 28 2017 BY MARK KANE 43

Volkswagen noted in the second half of December that strong demand for the e-Golf with increased range will require an adjustment to its production volume.

Volkswagen e-Golf

The German manufacturer will switch the Transparent Factory Dresden from single-shift operation to 2-shift operation to double output from 35 to 70 car a day (up to 1,050 to 2,100 per 30 days), however the increase will be gradual and begins in March 2018.

“To meet higher demand for the e-Golf, production capacity at the Transparent Factory is to be increased. From March 2018, production is to increase step-by-step from 35 to 70 vehicles per day. The plant will switch from single-shift operation to 2-shift operation in the course of this change.”

The e-Golf equipped with a 35.8 kWh battery can drive up to 125 miles (201 km) EPA, which is significantly more than 83 miles (134 km) for 24.2 kWh version. That seems to be the main reason why consumers are deciding to purchase the improved electric Golf.

There is speculations that before Volkswagen switches to the new MEB platform and I.D. family, the e-Golf will get one more battery upgrade – new, more energy dense cells would increase pack capacity to roughly 48 kWh and range to more than 165 miles (265 km). A similar move is expected for the BMW i3, which increased already from 21.6 kWh to 33.2 kWh and apparently awaits a 43.2 kWh in late 2018.

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43 Comments on "Volkswagen To Double e-Golf Production To Meet High Demand"

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Texas FFE
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Texas FFE

If the eGolf and the i3 get another battery upgrade, the Focus Electric will probably get another battery upgrade. With another battery upgrade the range of the FFE would increase from 115 miles to 150 miles. If the FFE battery does get upgraded I wouldn’t go out and buy the latest model but it would be nice to upgrade to greater range if my battery died.

notting
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notting

Well, there’s always the question how many upgrade kits were produced and how many people are buying it. I assume in a few year the last one will be sold (or thrown into the “garbage bin”).
Also the other question is: When you batteries dies, will there be a more better battery technology than available as upgrade kit?
The charging electronics are usually extremly integrated to all the other electronics, so there’s very often no charging module to replace.

notting

Texas FFE
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Texas FFE

So far that has not been an issue with the Ford Focus Electric. When Ford came out with the 33.5 kWh battery pack they completely abandoned the older 23 kWh pack. If you have an older FFE and the 23 kWh battery pack fails you have no choice but to replace it with a 33.5 kWh pack.

The newer pack is fully backwards compatible but a lot more expensive. You use to be able to replace the 23 kWh pack for $8k but the 33.5 kWh pack will run you $20k. I’m sure the price of the 33.5 kWh pack will come way down but if you’re just coming out of warranty and the battery pack fails you’re better off taking the car to the nearest junkyard and buying a new FFE than than paying $20k for a replacement pack.

Peter
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Peter

I have driven 300.000 km with my model S no problems with the battery.
Batteries normally don’t die.

To wish to more range and quicker charging when you are on a road trip is something completely different.

20 years from now maybe a car battery is no good for driving but still good as a Powerwall.

Bloggin
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Bloggin

Next-gen Focus is launching mid-2019 with production in China and imported to the US, with the current gen Focus set to end production mid-2018(to make room for Ranger production to start). The Focus will go 1 year with zero production. So it’s highly doubtful there will be any updates to the current model. And if there will be a next-gen Focus EV is still not known. All Ford has committed to is a ‘small’ suv EV by 2020/2021.

Texas FFE
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Texas FFE

That’s a lot of if’s. There are already spy shots of the 2019 Focus so ending production by mid 2018 doesn’t seem likely. There are rumors of a Focus Energi so maybe the Focus will live on as a HEV, PHEV, BEV platform like the Ioniq.

If the form factor of the battery packs change significantly then of course the battery packs won’t be backwardly compatible. With as much negative press as there has been on the current form factor of the FFE battery packs, I doubt that design will make it into a refreshed Focus. It’s going to be a long before I have to worry about replacement battery packs for my 2017 FFE and by then I probably would already have moved on to something more capable like a BEV SUV.

Don Zenga
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Don Zenga

But VW is planning to phase out eGolf by 2020 and move to ID. If they really increase the production and sales, that will be really good.

Spoonman.
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Spoonman.

I assume this won’t mean I can go to my local Pennsylvania Volkswagen dealer and buy an eGolf, though…

orinoco
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orinoco

The main reason is that with various subsidies you can get approx. 13.000 € discount on an e-Golf in Germany. The biggest chunk: when you get rid of an old diesel car you get about 7.300 € discount from Volkswagen.

orinoco
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orinoco

P.S. The main reason for me: as the e-Golf is based on the ICE-Golf you can install a regular tow hitch. It’s not officially supported by Volkswagen, but technically an e-Golf is much better for towing than an ICE-Golf, because it’s heavier and due to the electric engine it has instant torque. And despite the VW diesel scandal a Golf is a Golf is a Golf. One of the most reliable cars from Germany, also for towing. I don’t see any problems getting approval from the authorities here.
I would have waited about two years for a Model 3, if a tow hitch was optional. But as Musk took back his promise, it will take much longer to get a small Tesla capable of towing.

ClarksonCote
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ClarksonCote

Sure, the car can physically handle towing, but good luck with that battery warranty. At high speeds you’re looking at much higher discharge rates when towing. Probably why it isn’t officially supported.

orinoco
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orinoco

In Germany with a trailer you are not allowed to drive faster than 80km/h resp. 100km/h.
Reports from ZOE drivers signify no significant consumption increase with towing, much less than driving much faster without.

Yes, there are a lot of online rumors, FUD and lame excuses why BEVs don’t get official towing capacity from the OEMs and that you loose range, could damage your car, loose warranty etc. etc. I heard this a perceived million times.
My conclusion is a simple as the answer why automakers don’t produce and sell as much BEVs as they could: they don’t want to, although they could. And they are afraid themselves and can’t stand that others don’t.

notting
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notting

… only if you give them your old Diesel car (emission standard Euro 1-4) that you owned long enough (6 month).

notting

God/Bacardi
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God/Bacardi

Any breakdown of “demand” by country?

yogurt
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yogurt

Ev sales blog breaks down sales in multiple EU countries and other places…

ev-sales.blogspot.in

menorman
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menorman

IIRC, it’s in the running for the best-selling EV in Norway this year, so there’s that.

ffbj
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ffbj

I wonder how many vehicles coming out in 2018 will compete with the Model #3.
This isn’t one of them.

mzs.112000
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mzs.112000

Probably 60kWh Nissan Leaf, coming in late 2018 as a MY2019 car, 230 miles of range. Maybe the Chevy Bolt, but we need more CCS chargers.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf could take some sales because of long waiting lists for the Tesla, and lower price for Leaf.

Texas FFE
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Texas FFE

Don’t forget the 200 mile Ioniq we are supposed to get next year. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the Ioniq, it’s so easy to forget.

William
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William

Hyundai will have no problem selling all the 200+ mi. Ionic EVs they can make in 2018, and shipping them here to North America.

John Doe
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John Doe
I remember when the e-Golf came to Norway in 2014 – they sold 1200 in 3,5 hours. It has been among the best selling EVs in Norway since then. In 2015 E-Gold was the top selling car model with more then twice the volume of Tesla and Nissan. In 2016 E-Golf was the top selling car model (ICE or EV). This year they also sold more then the volume that Tesla and Nissan did, together. The larger battery secured continued good sales. I’m sure they will sell a lot of EVs in 2018 too – but the new Nissan Leaf will for sure sell many. The new TM3 will of course sell well as long as they can produce enough. They have the largest waitinglist of any EV brand – but maybe more in the US then in Europe. Many would have wanted a TM3 with a different shape/type. They may want to wait for the Model Y, and have another EV until then. It may take a few years before the public can buy Model Y. I think 2022? By then the EV market is more mature, and there are more models to choose from. The E-Golf is made… Read more »
menorman
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menorman

So? Not every car on the road competes with the regular 3-series either. People still buy them.

JyChevyVolt
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JyChevyVolt

Kona EV
240 mile range
201 HP motor
100 kW DCFC (faster than base 3)

Niro EV
?? Mile range
?? HP motor
100 kW DCFC (faster than base 3)

200+ mile Ioniq EV
Not likely

200+ mile Leaf

I-Pace

Etron

przemo_li
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przemo_li

Range is apples (EPA) to rotten eggs (NEDC).
Charging speeds are improbable. Is there even anyone who will be deploying (deployed) 100kWh chargers? Model 3 do not have official top kW stated for charging, so comparison is basically meaningless, until somebody can do comparision besides real chargers that supply required kW’s.

John Doe
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John Doe
Most of the new chargers they have planned to install now are more then 100kW (350kW), unless it is slower cheaper chargers that companies install for their employees to charge while they work. That is common, and I have a friend that works full time to install chargers and the needed infrastructure. In a city with less then 100K people, they installed 2600 chargers for companies so the employees can use them. It’s been like that for the last 3-4 years. Almost all new chargers will be high capacity chargers. 350kW or faster.. Slower chargers that’s being installed now, are chargers that was planned for installation a fairly long time ago. They can not just change them, since the energy company must approve the capacity they install. In new apartment complexes there have been so many cars charging that lights sometimes have flickered due to the load. The builder and the energy company argue of who’s going to pay for the changes to the grid. There are hundreds of millions needed in investments in the next few years. Since new building have to have a minimum numbers of parking spaces, with a minimum number of changes – some says the… Read more »
JoeInTheUk
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JoeInTheUk

This is not doubling the production. Electrek also has the same misleading headline. It’s doubling production at one plant. The main plant that makes the majority if eGolfs has made no announcement about increased production. It’s more likely a 20% increase or thereabouts

Tom
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Tom

Are you sure you aren’t confusing it with the PHEV version?

Asak
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Asak

Isn’t that pretty painfully slow output for a line? Only 35 per 8 hour shift? Almost 13 minutes per car coming off the line.

I guess other stuff is being built on this line too?

David H
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David H

That’s because of the “gläserne Manufaktur” where some meaning has been lost in translation. Manufaktur specifically means “factory in which something is made by hand”. Gläsern oviously is made of glas. So it is a showcase on how cars are built. Not the most effective or fast way, but in a way that gives insight into the process. This is a prestige project of VW.

Mike I.
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Mike I.

Correct. I have heard that the Dresden factory only builds e-Golf cars for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. All other e-Golf cars are produced in the Wolfsburg factory. The rumored production at Wolfsburg is 75-80 e-Golf cars per day on the line that also produces many other Golf models. So, increasing Dresden from 35/day to 70/day is a 30% increase in total e-Golf production.

yogurt
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yogurt

Yes totaly misleading but sadly being reported that way multiple places…

Acording to Green Car Reports VW builds the eGolf at two factories…

“VW said it would invest 20 million euros (about $21 million) in the Transparent Factory to prepare it for e-Golf production, which is set to begin in April 2017.
The company will also continue building the e-Golf alongside other Golf models at its main assembly plant in Wolfsburg, Germany”

Acording to wiki the transparent factory is more of a show piece that accomondates 250 toursits a day and only employes 500 or so people whereas their Wolfsburgh plant emploeys about 60,000…
So it is nice that they are doubling their production there and most likely employee count the real question is what are they doing in Wolfsburgh??

Mark C
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Mark C

Production starting in April 2017 mentioned at ~ 6 seconds in the presentation? Odd, I thought this was a new article

Get Real
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Get Real

I think VW is battery constrained and that is why their expansion is so painfully slow and feeble although still progress.

Of course, all the laggard OEMs are or will face the same battery limits since none of them had the foresight to go all in on batteries like Tesla.

Texas FFE
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Texas FFE

You would think that the first generation purpose built i3 and Leaf would have had a much easier job of upgrading their battery packs but the FFE and the eGolf have been able to keep up in terms of capacity so far. I guess the i3 and Leaf designs were not as forward thinking as we all thought when the designs came out.

John Doe
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John Doe
There is no battery problems at the moment. Check how the batteries are made. In the future, there will probably be some very specialised batteries, that is made in only one location – and that could lead to limmited supply. Those batteries will probably be an option, just as you can buy an ICE car with several engine options. The e-golf is expensive, and is probably the only reason they don’t sell even more. At the same time, the interior quality is really nice. It is after all one of the best selling EVs in Norway, and there are no waiting list to get one. It’s just to get to a dealer and buy it. They are increasing production due to higher damands, and they will sell the car in more areas. Where I live, they are everywhere. They sell really well. The Hyundai Ionic, could sell a LOT more if they could supply the cars. I just hope they can supply enough cars before the competition hardens. Not to mention the Opel Ampera ..fail.. There are other models that are hard to get as well. . like the tiny electric van from Renault for example. They sold all they… Read more »
kuk
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kuk

From 9.000 to 18.000 cars a year. Wow, what an achievement.

John Doe
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John Doe

Don’t come with wrong numbers. 9000 is close to what they sell in Norway every year.

Another Euro point of view
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Another Euro point of view

What is funny to see is that basically the eGolf is not less well regarded as an EV than the BMW i3 while it must have been way much more expensive for BMW to develop a dedicated platform with carbon reinforced plastic etc. as used by I3. As Pushevs site is hinting, it is not totally excluded for the eGolf to benefit from the new samsung
SDI 50Ah cells which would increase eGolf battery capacity to 48.4Kwh. So basically using a dirt cheap Golf platform produced in millions of copies every year VW could have a 150+ miles BEV before it’s ditched in 2020 in favor of new dedicated ID platform. It is this ability to rely on the group huge bank of high quality & cheap parts/platforms that partly explains this group ability to clock huge profits year after year (approx. 14 billions USD in 2017 if not mistaken). I am curious to see which BEVs they will produce in China in the coming years as this seems to be their focus now.

eltosho
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eltosho

The i3 is a total engineering failure!

BMW wasted an insane amount of resources and also made the car a lot more expensive because they wanted to have a carbon fibre chassis – and then it turned out that weight does not matter that much for EVs as everybody thought.

They also made the car small and boxy and ruined its aerodynamics – and then it turned out that aerodynamics is really important for EVs and that people do not really want to buy small and weird-looking expensive cars.

They made all the classical EV mistakes. This also shows well from the fact that the i3 actually has a horrible range for it’s battery size.
They just had to put a 40kwh battery in their 1-series and they would have had a cheaper and much better EV.

Another Euro point of view
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Another Euro point of view

Agreed

John Doe
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John Doe

People are different.. I personally like the i3 because of the engineering.
It may even be worth the extra cost, if I wanted to spend that amount on a car.
I have one as a company car, and I love to drive it, with firm suspension, picks up speed fast and the overall interior quality is very good. It is also one of the most green EVs you can buy. From raw materials to the car is at the dealer.

Since I don’t want to pay more then I have to this time – I will probably buy a Leaf. . or maybe even buy a Zöe.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

70 per day! That’s over 25.5k per year! Over 2,000 per month! It’s going to be a massive hit!

Bill Howland
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Bill Howland
Finally a news release where VW is not doing something just to stay in the game (as admitted by a VW dealer near me). Personally, since the only BEV I could buy around here that is at once low cost and long range is only made by GM, I await their announcement that by 2020 they will have a far larger assortment of vehicles to choose from. I believe the “S” and “X” are classified as ‘Midsize’. I would like to see what GM has in mind for a “LARGE” vehicle – excepting that serious joke of an EV, the Ct6 Phev which apparently will never be made available closer to 380 miles than me anyway. I just hope they’re not all H2 powered since I would doubt there would be many vendors in my area anyway, not that I would purchase a Hydrogen vehicle if there were. So I’m hoping GM comes out with a LARGE PHEV or BEV.. Other companies I don’t bother paying much attention to, since mostly, they’re all bark and no bite. Even the compact model 3 would be years away from any sales in my area. And the only large personal vehicle from Tesla… Read more »