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Prominent German automaker Volkswagen has announced plans to roll out its ID.7 EV across three continents within the next year.
Volkswagen appears set to stake its claim in China’s electric vehicle (EV) market by launching a higher-end car. The German motor vehicle manufacturer also plans to invest up to $1 billion to develop electric cars in China.
This week, Volkswagen made the announcement at the Shanghai auto show, revealing its new “ID.7” EV sedan would launch in China this fall. The Wolfsburg-based automaker also announced that it would roll out the ID.7 in Europe simultaneously. However, customers in North America would have to wait until next year to obtain the first all-electric Volkswagen sedan.
In addition to electric car development, the billion-dollar Volkswagen investment will help prop up emerging Chinese auto hub Hefei. Investment in the company’s planned business center in the Chinese city underscores overall German investment in China. According to reports, German-backed investments in the country surged approximately 61% in the first quarter year-over-year (YoY). Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Commerce said total foreign investment in the nation increased 4.9% YoY in Q1 to 408.45 billion yuan ($59.33 billion).
The new Volkswagen business center will launch next year with over 2,000 employees and Marcus Hafkemeyer as CEO. The incoming chief executive currently serves as the automaker’s chief technology officer in China. In a press release, the German carmaker also said the venture will be run by a new company called “100%TechCo”.
Volkswagen claimed that 100%TechCo could significantly cut down product and tech development time via various measures. These include taking on local suppliers during the early stages of product development, and synergizing Volkswagen’s three Chinese-based joint ventures.
Volkswagen EV World Premiere
Earlier in the week, Volkswagen held the world premiere of its electric sedan to great anticipation. Volkswagen Brand Board of Management member Kai Grünitz spoke glowingly of the all-electric product, saying:
“The ID.7 sets new efficiency standards on the basis of the modular electric drive matrix (MEB). We are targeting a range of up to 700 kilometers in accordance with WLTP. This is made possible by very good aerodynamics and by significantly increased efficiency in the areas of the powertrain and thermal management.”
Meanwhile, the CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Thomas Schäfer, was equally as effusive. Providing some insight into the company’s long-term electric plans, Schäfer explained:
“With the ID.7, we are taking the next step in our electric offensive. The limousine offers a high level of comfort and long ranges. By 2026, we will offer the widest electric range of all manufacturers in Europe – from the entry-level model for less than 25,000 euros up to the ID.7 as the new top model within the ID. family.”
Schäfer added that “[Volkswagen’s] goal is to achieve an EV share of 80% in Europe by 2030.” In conclusion, he said that “as from 2033, Volkswagen will produce only electric vehicles in Europe”.
Chinese-bound ID.7 sedans will be produced locally, while European and North American market vehicles will see production in Germany. Although Volkswagen did not disclose the pricing details of the EV, it said the ID.7 is for the upper mid-size class.