Audi forges ahead with new EV factory in China

Construction of the Audi FAW NEV Company joint venture production facility in Changchun, China, is advancing according to plan, says the German carmaker. Covering an area of 350,000 square meters, rooftop solar panels on the production buildings will generate 35 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

Nov 28, 2023

In partnership with Chinese manufacturer FAW (First Automotive Works), the new factory will exclusively produce all-electric Audi models. With its state-of-the-art facility, the company aims to set new standards in digitalisation, efficiency, and sustainability.

By the end of 2023 the company aims to complete construction of the factory and the installation of all production facilities, including a total of around 1,000 robots, an automated high-bay warehouse, heavy-duty machine presses, and camera-based monitoring systems. Personnel will move into the new facilities in 2024 when production steps will be tested in detail and prepared for series production.

By the end of 2024, series production of the first all-electric models based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) is scheduled to commence, with the market launch of the first fully electric Audi models built at the new production site planned for the beginning of 2025.

Audi says the new plant covers an area of around 154 hectares – making it slightly larger than the carmaker's plant in Neckarsulm, just north of Stuttgart, Germany. It is expected that the new plant will produce up to 150,000 fully electric Audi models based on the PPE platform annually. Production will start with three models from the Audi A6 e-tron and Q6 e-tron series.

In addition to encompassing the entire automotive production value chain, from press shop, body shop, and paint shop to assembly, the site will also include a battery assembly facility where high-voltage batteries for China-specific PPE models are produced.

Audi says that in collaboration with FAW, the site will attract and foster international talent. When production commences, around 3,000 employees of various nationalities will work at the new plant.

From the start, Audi says it has designed and planned the production facilities using digital methods and tools, including digital twins and 3D technology. This way, detailed requirements for workshops, production lines, and other infrastructure could be considered at an early design stage. Thanks to leading edge VR technology, construction experts from Ingolstadt in Germany are able to 'visit' the construction site virtually and discuss the current state of construction in real time with their colleagues in China.

And in a first for the Volkswagen Group, all maintenance, logistics, and manufacturing processes at one site will be interconnected via a single IT architecture.

With its global environmental program “Mission:Zero”, Audi is committed to decarbonisation, responsible water use, resource efficiency, and biodiversity – also at the new plant in Changchun. Audi FAW NEV Company are utilising energy-efficient and sustainable technologies in all production areas, while the company will also continuously monitor the efficiency of all equipment.

The production site will use 100 percent green energy with the goal of achieving net carbon neutral production. Covering an area of 350,000 square meters, rooftop solar panels on the production buildings generate 35 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually.