GERMANY— Volkswagen Group started manufacturing its ID.3 electric car this month. This is the company’s first electric car based on its Modular Electric Drive Toolkit or MEB platform.

The company said that the first electric car, a white ID.3, rolled off the assembly line of its Zwickau factory in Germany on Monday. The ceremony in Zwickau was attended by German chancellor Angela Merkel and Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess.

Volkswagen noted that for the first time, a large car manufacturing plant has been entirely converted from a factory that produced gasoline- and diesel-powered cars to one that produces only electric vehicles.

Volkswagen is investing about 1.2 billion euros for the conversion of the facility. The Zwickau plant will become the largest electric car factory in Europe.

"The ID.3 will make an important contribution to the breakthrough of e-mobility. It makes clean individual mobility accessible to millions of people and is a milestone for our company on the road to becoming climate-neutral by 2050", says Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess.

Volkswagen plans to sell 22 million electric vehicles worldwide by 2028. Zwickau is already scheduled to produce nearly 100,000 electric models in 2020. From 2021, up to 330,000 EVs will leave the assembly line each year. In the final expansion stage from 2021, six MEB models from three Group brands will be built in Zwickau.

The basic version of the ID.3 is priced at below 30,000 euros in Germany. The electric car will be launched throughout Europe in summer 2020.

Apart from manufacturing at the Zwickau factory, the components plants in Brunswick, Kassel, Salzgitter and Wolfsburg are also involved in production of the ID.3. These plants manufacture key components such as the electric motors or the battery systems.

The car manufacturing plants in Emden and Hanover are scheduled to begin building EVs from 2022. In addition, Volkswagen Group is cooperating with Northvolt to set up a major battery cell factory in Salzgitter.