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Clean Mobility is Possible

Volkswagen wants to do its part for climate protection. The road to getting there leads through a holistic e-mobility concept.

“We are the first generation to understand climate change to its full extent, and the last one that can still do something about it,” said Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization WMO, in the lead-up to the climate conference in Kattowitz. His summary of the changes, however, looks pretty bleak: “We’re not on the path to meeting climate protection targets and limiting temperature rise.”

Coal and oil are the biggest drivers of increasing CO₂ emissions

Words that sound dramatic. If you look at data provided by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, however, it becomes clear that Taalas isn’t over-dramatizing. According to them, 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record since weather records began, close behind the three record-holding years of 2015, 2016 and 2017. During the first ten months of 2018, the average temperature was just 1°C above the 1850-1900 period. If the current trend continues, then a temperature rise of 1,8 to 4°C by 2100 is realistic (Sources: IPCC). An increase in the use of fossil fuels could even make it go significantly higher.

30 billion for e-mobility

The transportation sector contributes around 14 percent of the worldwide CO₂ emissions

There is no doubt that CO₂ emissions caused by humans have to be reduced as soon as possible. Time is short. In addition to other economic sectors, transportation must also do its part. Around 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the transportation sector, according to IPCC, and the trend is pointing upward. Car manufacturers are therefore called upon to act. 

Volkswagen has chosen to accept its responsibility and wants to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Therefore the Group is expressly committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, which envisions a climate-neutral society by 2050. And the Group is also already drawing the necessary consequences: over the next five years, Volkswagen will be investing around 30 billion euros in electric mobility across the Group – nine billion of that alone in the Volkswagen brand’s I.D. family. Eight locations worldwide where a new generation of electric cars will roll off the assembly line are already in planning. At the same time, the Group is preparing for its exit from the production of non-CO₂-neutral vehicles. “The CO₂ problem is the biggest global challenge,” said Michael Jost, Chief Strategist of the Volkswagen brand, recently.

e-mobility is the key to clean mobility

The I.D. family provides mobility for a wide variety of needs – while consistently meeting the highest climate protection standards

From today’s point of view, e-mobility is the best and most efficient path to a clean, climate-neutral mobility. In many parts of the world – such as the EU – electric cars already are the most climate-friendly way for individuals to get around. With the wider distribution of renewable energy sources, the climate footprint will also further improve. Volkswagen is therefore launching over the next few years the biggest e-offensive ever seen in the automotive industry. The I.D. family models are especially designed for electric mobility and will make optimum use of the opportunities offered by this technology. They offer long ranges, plenty of room, dynamic driving performance and a completely new level of digital interconnectivity. The first model, the compact I.D., will begin production at the end of 2019 at the Zwickau plant and become available on the market in early 2020. The SUV I.D. CROZZ, the I.D. BUZZ and the I.D. sedan VIZZION will follow shortly afterwards. In the future, Volkswagen will offer attractive electric cars in every segment – from the compact class to the big lifestyle van. The brand’s aim is to produce a minimum of one million electric cars around the world annually starting in 2025.

The I.D. family provides mobility for a wide variety of needs – while consistently meeting the highest climate protection standards

What is crucial is that Volkswagen not only builds electric cars, but also monitors the complete life cycle from raw materials to recycling. For the electric car is only as clean and green as the electricity used to build it and charge it with. Cell production, in particular, is still very energy-intensive, and charging cars with coal-derived power is a burden to the overall environmental equilibrium. In order to tailor electric cars sustainably toward climate protection, it is precisely these areas that have to be addressed. That’s exactly what Volkswagen is doing: With the new I.D., already set for production this year, the brand will be putting a climate-neutral car onto the road. CO2 emissions will be avoided or reduced from the beginning, and currently unavoidable emissions will be offset by investments in climate protection projects. 

Decarbonization as a competitive edge

In summary: Volkswagen is taking action in order to reach the Paris Agreement’s goal of a climate-neutral society by 2050. With the I.D., the brand is demonstrating that clean, climate-neutral mobility is possible. At the same time, there is also a great economic opportunity in all this. “The strategic goal of becoming the leading worldwide provider of e-mobility can make the focus on consistent decarbonization a strong competitive edge,” says Georg Kell, spokesman for Volkswagen’s independent sustainability advisory board. “In any case, it offers the best way for setting a common course for a secure and economically successful future on a planet worth living on.”

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