Volkswagen is powering America

Volkswagen is powering America

The timing could not have been better. Production of the VW ID 4 began in Chattanooga in the US state of Tennessee at about the same time as the new requirements for the promotion of electric vehicles in the United States were passed in Washington – namely a tax rebate of up to 7,500 dollars.

The rebates for US-made electric vehicles are part of the Affordable Care Act passed in August, which primarily promotes investment in sustainable products in the US. Hein Schäfer, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen of America, explained online that “there are already 30,000 pre-orders” for the ID 4. According to Schäfer, this makes the ID 4 a “fast-selling” model in the United States.
Until now, the style has been imported to the United States from Europe.

The US version of the ID 4, which has more than 75 percent of parts from North American suppliers, will be followed by other electric models in the coming years. In 2024, the Buzz ID will enter the American market as the successor to the highly praised VW Microbus with a third row of seats, from 2026 more all-electric SUV models are planned, and in 2030 American customers will be able to choose between. more than 25 all-electric vehicles. According to plans, 55 percent of all Volkswagen models sold in the United States will be electric vehicles.

The ID 4 has already received a positive review from the US consumer organization Consumer Reports. In the test of the all-wheel drive version, testers confirmed the model’s “quick acceleration, comfortable ride and quiet interior”. Rear space and cargo space were rated as “generous”, and handling was also praised.

Wolfsburg’s goal is a ten percent share in the American market. This also includes further expansion of Electrify America’s high performance charging network. The subsidiary currently operates nearly 1,000 charging stations with more than 3,500 DC charging stations, and the network is expected to more than double in the next three years.

In Chattanooga, Volkswagen has now also established a Battery Engineering Laboratory for high-power batteries. This includes, among other things, a climate room in which temperatures from arctic minus 70 degrees to 130 degrees can be produced. Humidity can also be properly modeled for each climate zone. The new battery test center is part of Volkswagen’s global network of facilities. The Group has comparable facilities in Germany and the People’s Republic of China.

Batteries are more sensitive than internal combustion engines, and therefore the testing requirements are just as high. On a two-ton vibrating table, for example, energy stores are subjected to severe loads. “The table, which is placed on a 270-ton concrete base, simulates driving a car on different road profiles. It can generate up to 25 times the acceleration due to gravity. It’s almost like a small earthquake,” explains Wolfgang Maluche, Vice President President of Engineering at Volkswagen of America. Each run lasts 14 minutes.

Volkswagen has invested 22 million dollars in the Battery Engineering Laboratory, and the facility represents the company’s transformation in the region of Canada, the United States and Mexico. In addition to the experimental center in Tennessee, there is already a Center of Excellence for cell technology in California, which works with two stations Quantum Scape and 24 M and researches the next level of battery technology (solid-state and semi. -technology- stable). New cell technologies developed there will also be tested in a new high-voltage laboratory in Chattanooga.

Volkswagen is investing nearly 800 million dollars in the power supply of the plant and is creating more jobs in the area. So far, 4000 people work on the site, the group plans to hire another 1000 workers. (Walther Wuttke/cen)