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VW will build long-range electric crossover in Wolfsburg

BERLIN — Volkswagen said it will invest $482 million in its Wolfsburg plant to add production of its ID3 full-electric compact hatchback and a new, Tiguan-sized electric crossover.

The crossover will use a further development of the automaker’s MEB electric platform called MEB+, enabling faster charging speeds and longer ranges, VW brand CEO Thomas Schaefer said.

The crossover complements VW’s existing ID4 and ID5 electric crossovers, Schaefer said in a statement on Wednesday.

It will use the automaker’s highly standardized unified cell that will be produced in VW’s cell factory in Salzgitter starting in 2025.

VW did not give a timescale for production of the new EV.  Its MEB+ platform will enable ranges of up to 700 km (435 miles) and significantly improve charging times, with charging speeds of 175–200 kW possible, VW has said.

To improve capacity use at the Wolfsburg factory, VW also will add ID3 output in Wolfsburg. Partial production of the ID3 will start will next year, with full production slated from 2024. The car will also continue to be built in VW’s Zwickau factory in Germany.

The Wolfsburg plant employs about 60,000 workers building combustion engine models including the Golf, Tiguan and Touran.

Output from the flagship plant has been on a downward spiral since 2015 when it produced around 800,000 vehicles, dropping drastically since the start of the coronavirus pandemic to under 400,000 a year.

VW confirmed that it still plans to build an electric flagship with advanced self-driving features under its Trinity project based on the SSP software-led platform that is under development.

The automaker will decide by February whether to produce Trinity cars at the Wolfsburg plant or build a new factory for the model close by.

Reuters contributed to this report

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