Volkswagen outlines roadmap for climate-neutral mobility by 2050
Volkswagen has a detailed plan for decarbonizing the company and its products, to be net carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest. As well as accelerating the transition to e-mobility, the production - including supply chain - and operation of electric cars is to be made net carbon neutral.
Volkswagen outlines roadmap for climate-neutral mobility by 2050. «Volkswagen stands for sustainable e-mobility for all. We’ve set out on the ‘Way To Zero’ and are consistently placing the environment at the focus of all our activities», said Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of Volkswagen. «Our big electric offensive was just the start. We’re taking a holistic approach to decarbonization: from production through service life to recycling».
A key factor in achieving carbon-neutral mobility is to be able to charge vehicles consistently with electricity generated entirely from renewable sources. This alone would reduce CO2 emissions by almost half compared with the standard EU electricity mix. Already today, Volkswagen offers its customers green electricity for charging at home (Volkswagen Naturstrom) and on the road, e.g. at IONITY charging stations. The company is now going one step further. Volkswagen will directly support the expansion of renewable energy on a large scale. As a result, new wind farms and solar plants are to be constructed in several regions of Europe by 2025.
Volkswagen: concrete actions for climate-neutral mobility
Contracts for the first projects have already been signed with energy company RWE. In Germany, Volkswagen is supporting the construction of a solar plant with a total capacity of 170 million kilowatt hours each year. The associated plant will be completed in Tramm-Göthen in northeastern Germany by the end of 2021 and is being constructed without any state subsidies at all. Incorporating around 420,000 solar modules, it is the largest independent solar project in Germany. It is planned that all projects together will generate around seven terawatt hours of additional green electricity by 2025. The amount of renewable electricity going into the grid will grow in parallel with the number of ID. vehicles. In this way, Volkswagen is improving the climate footprint of the ID. family and creating the basis for the net carbon neutral use of its electric fleet.
Decarbonizing the whole supply-chain
Apart from e-mobility vehicles, Volkswagen is also working to decarbonize both production and supply chain. Already today, the electricity used at all our European production sites comes from renewable sources. The pioneer here is the electric car factory in Zwickau, where the ID. family is produced. From 2030, all plants worldwide, other than in China, are to operate entirely on green electricity. In the future, the largest contributors to CO2 emissions in the supply chain will be systematically identified and reduced. The role model for this is the battery cell production for the ID.3 and ID.4, which already uses green electricity only and therefore has a substantially improved carbon footprint. This year already, Volkswagen will be switching to other sustainable components in its ID. vehicles, including battery housings and wheel rims made from green aluminum and tires from low-emission production.
When it comes to new vehicle projects, Volkswagen will be making CO2 emissions a key criterion in awarding contracts to suppliers. In this way, the company intends to work with its suppliers to gradually improve their carbon footprint and ensure the sustainability of its supply chain. The company is also pursuing a clear decarbonization strategy in the in-house production of components at Volkswagen Group Components. As such the giga-factories for battery cell production announced during Power Day are to be supplied with entirely green electricity. The systematic recycling of batteries, which will allow more than 90 percent of raw materials to be reused in the future, is intended to make a further contribution to reducing CO2 emissions. The goal is a closed loop for the battery and its raw materials that the company has at its own disposal across the Group. Volkswagen Group Components is already operating an initial recycling facility in Salzgitter.
By 2030 at least 70% of all VW sales in EU will be electric
At the heart of the e-mobility Way to Zero is Volkswagen’s new Accelerate strategy aimed at stepping up the pace of the electric offensive. The goal is the full electrification of the new vehicle fleet. By 2030, at least 70 percent of all Volkswagen’s unit sales in Europe will be all-electric vehicles – that’s substantially more than one million vehicles. This would mean that Volkswagen would significantly outperform the requirements of the EU Green Deal. In North America and China, the share of electric vehicles in sales should be at least 50 percent. In addition, Volkswagen will be launching at least one new electric car each year.
«The ‘Way to Zero’ is our roadmap for effective climate protection, with clear and ambitious milestones. We live up to our responsibility for the environment. The ‘Way to Zero’ will provide us with a real competitive advantage. In the future, employees, customers and investors will give preference to those companies which place their social and environmental responsibility at the heart of their business. Sustainability will thus become a crucial factor in corporate success», said Ralf Brandstätter. «However, Volkswagen cannot shoulder the decarbonization of mobility on its own. Government, industry and society need to come together to develop good ideas and make courageous investments».