With Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai undergoing trial production of Model 3’s, Volkswagen is apparently taking a similar course with hopes to build around 1,000,000 electric vehicles in China by 2022, according to plans seen by Reuters.
The plans call for the two existing Chinese factories to begin building electric vehicles next year, giving a production capacity of 600,000 vehicles. Tesla plans to be able to produce 500,000 vehicles at Gigafactory 3 by next year.
The German automaker has additional plans to convert 8 plants around the world by 2022 to specialize in EV manufacturing. If they are able to follow through on their plans, they could become the largest EV maker in the world.
The problem with Volkswagen’s plans is that they intend to fund this shift to EV manufacturing by increasing sales of combustion engine SUVs, currently at 23% of their sales, up to 40% by the end of next year. It seems counter intuitive to expand the product that is the second largest cause in the rise of CO2 emissions worldwide in recent years, to be able to bring electric vehicles to the mainstream. Tesla was able to do this by first building the more expensive Model S and then Model X, in order to fund the production of the first mass produced EV, the Model 3.