Wolfsburg will see a brand new Volkswagen plant in a few years.
Next spring, the German automaker will break ground on a massive — and expensive — new factory in Lower Saxony. The decision brings in more than 2 billion Euros ($2.1 billion) for the new site near VW’s original Wolfsburg plant, and sets a goal to begin producing a new flagship EV, so far referred to as ‘Project Trinity’, by 2026.
“The Trinity project is the new lodestar for Volkswagen’s all-electric fleet,” the company said in its statement, “and the crystallization point for the brand’s ACCELERATE strategy.” Key to that strategy, the announcement goes on, are shorter charging times and electric vehicle ranges over 700 kilometers (about 435 miles).
To that end, Volkswagen will build its new flagship on its next-gen “Scalable Systems Platform” (SSP). While exact technical details are thin on the ground for now, the automaker promises carbon-neutral production from the new plant, Level 4 autonomous capability and further vehicles integrated to the SSP platform at the company’s existing Wolfsburg plant by 2030. “We are focusing on innovative and sustainable manufacturing concepts,” said Dr. Christian Vollmer, VW’s managing board member responsible for production. “Building a new factory in Warmenau also gives us the opportunity to make the existing factory fit for the future, step-by-step and from top to bottom.”
Taking a software-based approach to VW’s next EVs
Over time, Volkswagen expects to build 40 million vehicles on the SSP architecture pioneered by the Trinity project. Apart from the general, large-scale shift to EVs, the company says software will play a major role in their cars’ lifecycle moving forward. That includes on-demand functions accessible via the “digital ecosystem” in the car — or added-cost features that the consumer can opt into after taking delivery of their car. Whether you appreciate the added functionality or consider VW’s move toward that system implementing a paywall, it’s a system more automakers are considering as a revenue source throughout a car’s entire lifecycle.
While we have a few years to wait for Trinity, check out VW’s first ID. series crossover, the ID.4, below: