A factory owned by Volkswagen in Germany’s “City of Cars,” Zwickau, has produced its last ever combustion engine vehicle, closing a 116-year chapter on fossil-fuelled cars and switching to electric vehicle production, only.
Volkswagen said in a statement late last week that the last model with a combustion engine left the assembly line on Friday at the Zwickau car factory – a seventh-generation Golf R Estate with 2.0-litre petrol engine in Oryx White Pearl Effect.
“From today on, only electric models of Volkswagen and in future also of the sister brands Audi and Seat will be produced in Zwickau,” the statement said.
This, in itself, is a big enough milestone for a factory that has operated since 1904 and turned out more than 6 million Volkswagen ICE cars since 1990. But the Zwickau factory will also mark the first time the car maker has switched a large car factory completely to electric mobility.
For this reason, the transformation will not be immediate, with a “conversion phase” taking place over several weeks of the European summer and a qualification program for all 8,000 of the plant’s employees that will see them complete around 20,500 days of training.
Once all of this is complete, the Zwickau factory is expected to start producing the first of its fully electric vehicles by the end of the year, including the ID.4 and possibly an SUV from the sister brand, Audi.
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