Smart Transport

Volkswagen restarts electric vehicle production following coronavirus shutdown

Volkswagen has restarted production of its ID.3 electric vehicle at its Zwickau factory in Germany.

It is the brand’s first facility to restart work since the coronavirus lockdown.

Strict social distancing rules have been in place since March 22 in Germany and VW halted production soon after.

Employees have been instructed on health protection and will be wearing masks, covering both their nose and mouth and they will be maintaining safe distances between workers.

Production at VW’s plants in Wolfsburg, Emden, Hanover and Dresden are all due to restart this week too.

Siiri Timm, VW personnel specialist at the Transparent Factory in Dresden, said: “The shift to electric mobility continues.

“We are not going to be stopped."

VW sales director Jürgen Stackmann emphasizes that climate protection remains important despite the coronavirus crisis.

He said: “As a company, we want to work in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

"Volkswagen is committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement.

“Even in these difficult times, I am doing everything in my power to ensure that we can achieve these goals.”

The Paris Agreement's long-term temperature goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels; and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 °C, recognizing that this would substantially reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.

US credit rating agency Fitch has said coronavirus lockdown measures across the world are likely to severely disrupt electric vehicle supply chains.

Fitch Ratings estimates that the pandemic will cause problems for battery cell manufacturing, production and product launches.

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