March 12, 2020 3:15 PM, EDT

Report Projects Volkswagen to Be First to Profit From Manufacturing Electric Vehicles

Volkswagen ID.4Volkswagen ID.4 by Volkswagen AG

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A new report picks Volkswagen as the first incumbent global carmaker to make money selling electric vehicles, with profits expected to arrive by 2022 — the same year VW Chattanooga in Tennessee begins building EVs.

Forbes magazine, citing a report by Swiss investment bank UBS, said the number of Volkswagen battery-powered vehicles sold will hit more than 15% of its global sales within five years. Tesla, now the No. 1 electric vehicle maker, is expected to come under pressure from VW, said Forbes.

VW’s Chattanooga plant is undertaking an $800 million expansion to assemble the all-electric SUV, which Volkswagen said will be called the ID.4. The new battery-powered SUV will undergo assembly at a German plant for two years before production starts.

The German automaker last week unveiled plans to hire 600 more people to produce the new Atlas Cross Sport SUV, the existing Atlas SUV and, eventually, the battery-powered vehicle.

According to VW’s latest plans, up to 1.5 million electric vehicles are to be produced globally as early as 2025, which is more than it earlier envisioned.

The ID.4 will sit in the heart of the world’s most popular vehicle segment, the compact SUV market, and it will be the second to use VW’s modular electric drive platform called MEB, according to VW. The ID.3, a compact car, will hit the market soon, according to VW.

The ID. name is an abbreviation for intelligent design, identity and visionary technologies, while the number 4 identifies the new model as a representative of the compact SUV segment, the company said.

The ID.4 also will be launched in Europe in 2020 and later in the United States.

According to VW, the market launch of the ID. family is Volkswagen’s No. 1 objective for 2020, and the first ID.3 will take to European roads this summer.

Host Seth Clevenger went to CES 2020 to look at the road ahead for electric-powered commercial vehicles. He spoke with Scott Newhouse of Peterbilt and Chris Nordh of Ryder System. Hear a snippet, above, and get the full program by going to

Over the next few years, Volkswagen aims to become a global leader in terms of electric mobility. To do so, the company is investing $37 billion across the VW Group by 2024.

Some $12.4 billion of that amount has been earmarked for the Volkswagen brand alone.

From 2021, a plant in Zwickau, Germany, will build up to 330,000 electric vehicles a year, making it Europe’s largest such factory, according to VW.

Internationally, preparations for the launch of the ID. family are also in full swing in China as well as the U.S. Pre-production already has begun at a Chinese plant in Anting, according to the company.

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