Volkswagen wants more battery production in the United States

A recent report to CNBC gives us very good news about Volkswagen. The company’s CEO for the US division, Scott Keogh, said the company is actively looking for places to build at least one more battery and vehicle assembly plant in the United States.

“We are actively looking at another production facility and also a battery facility,” Keogh said. CNBC.

A bit of context

While that sounds good for the future of electric vehicles being built and sold in the United States, he didn’t give them specifics on where those facilities might be built. As it stands, Volkswagen’s US plant that builds the ID.4 is in Tennessee, but there’s no guarantee another facility will be near the existing one in Chattanooga.

Its Tennessee plant is a relatively recent development. Planned in 2008, the facility opened in 2011. The first vehicle was the Passat, a mid-size sedan a bit larger than the more popular Jetta. The second vehicle the company built at the factory was the 3-row full-size Atlas SUV, which was very popular in the United States (hey, we love our big SUVs). But now the factory is expanding to electric vehicles, with the ID.4 2-row crossover and the ID.Buzz (an electric van that looks like the old microbus).

It wasn’t Volkswagen’s first foray into the American auto production scene. Previously, the company built variants of the Volkswagen Golf (a small sedan) at an assembly plant in Pennsylvania. This factory opened in 1978, but closed after 10 years because it was not profitable. Production of many vehicles in the North American market remained in Puebla, Mexico, with NAFTA-supported imports flowing from there to the United States.

Many people don’t know that Volkswagen continued to manufacture the classic Beetle design in Mexico until 2003, making the original Volkswagen one of the most produced cars in history. The old Beetle, with improvements like fuel injection and better interiors, retained its old form in developing countries that didn’t have higher safety standards, because its low cost was all many drivers could afford. Mexican Beetles are popular imports to the United States because you can get a classic-style car that won’t rust or fall apart for a relatively low price.

But today, it makes more sense to produce the latest electric vehicles in the United States for the American market. Although NAFTA still protects a Mexican vehicle from import duties, exchange rate fluctuations, divergent vehicle buying trends in the United States and Mexico, and supply chain issues, it is more easy to build cars to buy closer to home.

Electric vehicles compound these problems. While Mexico is a beautiful country with good people, the money for electric vehicles just isn’t there in most people’s budgets for reasons far beyond the scope of the margin. explanation of this article. Moving heavier vehicles from Puebla to the United States is also more expensive. So, at least for now, it makes sense for VW to build electric vehicles in the United States.

Battery production is particularly important

When it comes to the future of the United States, investing in battery production is not only a good thing, but vital to our future. If we get to the point where the batteries for our electric vehicles come mostly from overseas, it drives up the cost of building the cars and leaves us vulnerable to supply chain shocks and energy security issues.

The more batteries we can produce in the United States, the better.

Image selected by Volkswagen.

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