First Volkswagen Factory for MEB-Based Electric Vehicles Opens in China in 2020

The modular electric drive matrix platform, or MEB as Volkswagen calls it, will play a pivotal role in the way the future of motoring will look like for one of the biggest car companies on the planet: when in full swing, ten million vehicles are to be based on it.
Volkswagen MEB platform 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
Production of MEB-based vehicles will begin in Zwickau, Germany sometime next year, then in the FAW-Volkswagen factory in Foshan, China. None of these plants are however fully dedicated to the MEB platform.

However, the site In Anting, Shanghai, which opens in 2020, will be specifically built for this task by the Germans and local partner SAIC. The facility will be the carmaker’s first and most important source of MEB-based vehicles and battery system.

The plant will cover 610,000 square meters and comprise, among other things, pressing equipment and battery assembly workshops, an elevated stereoscopic warehouse, and a proving road. 1,400 robots will handle assembly tasks for the site which has an annual production goal of 300,000 vehicles a year.

The first model that will be produced in the new facility is an SUV from the Volkswagen brand which will be launched in 2020. It will be followed by the electric cars branded SAIC Volkswagen.

By the middle of the next decade, Volkswagen plans to have 50 purely electric vehicles on the roads, meaning one in four new vehicles will be powered by electricity.

“Through Volkswagen’s MEB platform, we will be able to easily produce state-of-the-art electric vehicles for our Chinese customers on a high scale,” said in a statement Herbert Diess, Volkswagen chairman of the board.

“The Volkswagen Group, its brands, and their Chinese joint venture partners focus consistently on sustainable mobility and push the transformation of the automotive industry in China and worldwide. In this way, we emphasize the importance of the Chinese market for the Volkswagen Group."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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