By David Shepardson
DETROIT (Reuters) – Volkswagen AG <VOWG_p.DE> said on Monday it is investing $800 million (£621.7 million) to build a new electric vehicle at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as it shifts toward zero emission vehicles.
The German automaker, in an announcement at the Detroit Auto Show, said it is adding 1,000 new jobs and that electric vehicle production in Tennessee will begin in 2022.
German automakers have been under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to increase their investments in the United States.
VW will use a modular electric toolkit chassis (MEB) in Chattanooga. VW designed MEB to be the basic building block for its EVs and is intended to consolidate all of the vehicle’s electronic controls and reduce the number of microprocessors.
Volkswagen is building the first dedicated EV production facility in Zwickau, Germany, starting MEB production by the end of 2019.
Volkswagen will add EV production at facilities in Anting and Foshan, in China, in 2020, and in the German cities of Emden and Hanover by 2022.
“We obviously think electric vehicles are going to play a more and more prominent role,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, who took part in the announcement.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)