Volkswagen is bringing ID.4 production to the USA. Before it can do that, though, it needs a supply line and the Battery Engineering Lab is the latest step in that process.

The lab is expected to cost about $22 million and it will test and validate electric vehicle cells and battery packs for the North American Region.

The lab is just the latest facility in Chattanooga’s growing EV habitat. The lab will join the 564,000 sq-ft electric production line and the 198,000 sq-ft battery pack assembly facility. 

The lab will test and validate battery cells made in Georgia by a partner. These facilities will all be ready to build the ID.4 by 2022.

“Testing batteries in the U.S. at this world-class lab helps us get vehicles to market faster, at lower cost and better tuned for U.S. customers,” said Dr. Wolfgang Demmelbauer-Ebner, EVP and Chief Engineering Officer, Volkswagen of America. “It also lets us ensure the safety and reliability of our batteries in conditions U.S. customers encounter every day.”

The move helps VW lower the cost of ID.4s in the US by localizing production. It will also allow VW to optimize the car for the US market. 

“This will be the first lab of its kind that VW will build in the U.S., and it means a great deal that they chose to build it in Tennessee,” said Commissioner Bob Rolfe, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “This expansion shows that Tennessee is not only a leader in the automotive sector, but it is also an outstanding place to conduct high tech R&D.”