(Reuters) - German automaker Volkswagen AG VOWG_p.DE has begun regular production of the ID.4 compact SUV, the second model in a planned family of electric vehicles that will be built and sold around the world, the company said Thursday.
The ID family is the linchpin of the VW brand’s ambitious plan to build 1.5 million electric vehicles a year by 2025. The broader VW Group has said it will spend nearly $40 billion by 2024 to ramp up electric vehicle production in Europe, China and the United States.
U.S. production in Chattanooga, Tennessee, near VW’s existing factory, is slated for 2022.
Rival General Motors Co GM.N has said it expects to build 1 million EVs a year by 2025, mainly in China and the United States.
The ID.4 and its companion, the ID.3 hatchback, are built on a dedicated EV platform that Volkswagen calls MEB. The same platform will be shared with Ford Motor Co F.N as part of a broader collaboration with the U.S. automaker.
Ford has said it plans to build at least one new EV in Europe on the MEB platform and is considering a second variant.
Initial production of the ID.4 has begun at VW’s plant in Zwickau, Germany, which was converted to build electric vehicles exclusively at a cost of $1.4 billion.
Preproduction of the ID.4 already also started near Shanghai.
Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Nick Zieminski
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