No fence, no exclusion area, no bars – just a large building surrounded by greenery: at Volkswagen’s Transparent Factory in Dresden the emission-free future is underway.
A symbol for the Group�s strategy
It is not a coincidence that the factory is so transparent and accessible: “We explicitly welcome people to enter and visit the factory. People need to be able to experience e-mobility”, says Lars Dittert, Volkswagen factory manager in Dresden.
The Transparent Factory in Dresden has become a symbol for the Volkswagen Group strategy TOGETHER – 2025: Where once the high-end Phaeton was manufactured by hand, now the emission-free e-Golf rolls off the assembly line. It is one of the new flagships of the Group’s electric offensive. By 2025, Volkswagen aims to be the leading provider of electric vehicles and sell two to three million electric vehicles annually.
A clean and quiet building
130 technicians assemble the new e-Golf models at the Transparent Factory in Dresden – by hand. They install control units, cockpits, seats as well as doors, and ensure that the wiring is correct. Chassis, batteries and vehicle parts are delivered, while complete assembly is carried out in Dresden. What is remarkable is that everything is very clean and quiet, just as the e-Golf itself. Production technicians are dressed in white work clothes; the floor is light beige made of Canadian maple floorboards. Only every now and then do you hear light pounding. Occasionally, driverless transport systems even glide noiselessly through the production hall delivering new parts.
The direct e-drive experience
Visitors can observe all of this during a 75-minute long guided tour through the production area – step by step, bolt by bolt. They are allowed to get up to about a meter and a half close to the vehicle production as there is also no exclusion area there. There is no need to make a reservation in advance. Visitors can simply check in at the entrance and book one of the hourly tours that leave on the hour.
On average, 400 visitors take a tour of the factory every day and about a third of them come from outside Germany. And that is no surprise: Factory tours are offered in 14 languages.
What’s more, electric vehicles stand ready on the terrace in front of the factory for a test drive. With the support of the Volkswagen staff it is possible to choose from 3 types of test. The 15-minute test drive takes you around the large garden once. A 30-minute test drive can also be booked at short notice on site. If you have a bit more time, with the 60-minute tour, you can also discover the sights of Dresden with the e-Golf or the Passat GTE.
100% renewable energy
The automobile manufacturer regards itself as part of the city of Dresden. If at first it was considered surprising that the company wanted to move to the middle of the city – close to the Church of Our Lady and the famous old town – this sentiment has now changed. The factory is clean and obtains 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources. High emission production steps such as painting large surfaces and welding are not carried out in the city so that there is no harm to the environment or residents. Moreover, Volkswagen supports the local culture and opens its doors for public concerts and picnics.
Dresden is ready for the future
"The availability of sufficient charging stations is certainly still a challenge. However, as sales of electric vehicles increase, the availability of charging stations will also quickly catch up”, says Lars Dittert. Dresden is also working on this: six start-ups work in the Volkswagen factory incubator including LoyalGo, which aims to make purchasing electric charging stations more attractive for small dealers. In this way dealers will be able to join forces and collectively buy an electric charging column, using it for advertising space.
In Dresden there are already 60 charging stations. However, this number is expected to quadruple in the foreseeable future. The city has partnered with Volkswagen in electric mobility and plans to progressively change over its fleet of vehicles to electric cars. Volkswagen has won a tender for this project; in addition, the carmaker has launched various apps tailored to the city of Dresden. One app serves as a digital parking meter, another calculates the quickest means of transport for distances in the city and determines the number of vacant spaces in car parks in real time. “The Dresden site is ready for the future”, concludes Dittert.
Consumption value e-Golf: Consumption Electric power in kWh/100km: 12.7 (Combined) CO2 emissions, g/km: 0 (combined) Efficiency Class: A+. Passat GTE - Fuel consumption in l/100 km: combined 1.8 – 1.7; power consumption in kWh/100 km: combined 13.1 -12.5; CO2 emissions combined in g/km: 40-38; efficiency class: A+.