Volkswagen AG said Tuesday it’s building two plants in China to produce a total of 600,000 vehicles on its dedicated battery-car platform, dubbed MEB.
The new factories in Anting and Foshan will open a few months after Germany’s Zwickau, which will assemble as many as 330,000 cars annually and is slated to get started by year-end.
For comparison, Tesla's vehicle assembly plant operating in Fremont, California, can make about 500,000 cars. The electric-car leader expects to start output on the outskirts of Shanghai at the end of this year and produce 250,000 vehicles a year initially.
Tesla resolved manufacturing snafus in Fremont and its battery factory near Reno, Nevada, which may start also building Model Y crossovers. While Model 3 sedan deliveries tailed off in the first quarter following a strong second half of 2018, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has dismissed concerns about demand and stuck to a forecast for as many as 400,000 vehicle deliveries this year.
VW plans to produce some 70 battery-powered models across its 12 auto brands by 2028 and make 22 million electric cars over the next decade.
The carmaker this month opened reservations for its electric ID.3 hatchback. It’s garnered more than 15,000 orders from buyers putting down 1,000-euro deposits.
VW plans to team up with Sweden’s Northvolt AB to start production in Salzgitter, Germany of battery cells for electric cars.