At the start of the Geneva Motor Show, the Volkswagen Group set a clear signal for electromobility and climate protection. Electric vehicles are the best and most efficient choice for reducing CO₂ emissions in road traffic and making mobility completely emission-free in the long term in combination with clean electricity, said CEO Herbert Diess at the Group Night.
"We are facing a fundamental change in the system in which it is important to focus all forces on one goal," Diess said. The CEO emphasized that Volkswagen is focusing on electromobility more consistently than any other traditional manufacturer. The company is investing more than 30 billion euros in its E-Offensive. By 2025, the Group will be launching more than 50 new electric vehicles on the market - including numerous models based on the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB).
The more cars, the cheaper the price
With the new platform, specially developed for electric cars, electromobility is set to establish itself across the board. In a first wave, 15 million vehicles of the Volkswagen, Audi, ŠKODA and SEAT brands will be based on the MEB platform. The advantage of the large number is that the more cars built on the electric platform, the cheaper they will become: “At Volkswagen we call it, electric cars for millions, not for millionaires,” Diess said. “Our task is to maintain individual mobility for our society in the future as well.”
Because MEB was developed exclusively for electric cars, it can optimally exploit the technical possibilities of e-mobility in terms of range, space and digital services. In addition, the platform offers a high degree of flexibility: a small city car can be implemented just as economically as large limousines, for example. MEB therefore has the potential to become the standard for e-mobility. Volkswagen has decided to open its most important e-toolkit to third-party suppliers. "In this way, we are increasing scales, lowering costs and spreading e-mobility even faster," said Diess.
The best of both worlds
As the first external partner Diess presented Prof. Günther Schuh and his company e.GO at the Group Night. A dedicated vehicle project is already being planned. The co-founder of StreetScooter has brought the world's first electric load transporter onto the road against great resistance. With the company e.Go, founded in 2015, Schuh is now focusing on electric vehicles for urban traffic.
A collaboration with Volkswagen means a huge opportunity for e.Go, because it combines the best of both worlds, said Schuh. On the one hand, a global production network and expertise in mass production, on the other hand the agility of the young company e.Go. With MEB, a platform is available that is just as suitable for large series as it is for small series. These are good prerequisites for bringing the electric car to a market breakthrough.
Responsibility for climate protection
Diess made it clear that Volkswagen is also confident of the success of electric mobility. "By 2025, every fourth car in the Group will be a clean electric vehicle," he said. The company is already preparing 18 locations on three continents for the production of electric vehicles by 2022. The new Group subsidiary Elli (Electric Life) will also contribute charging solutions to making electric mobility suitable for everyday use for many people. Elli's first product is CO2-neutral Volkswagen green energy.
Volkswagen also assumes responsibility for climate protection in its manufacturing operations. The compact ID.*, produced in Zwickau, will be handed over to customers as a balance-sheet CO2-neutral car. This is made possible by high energy efficiency and the use of green electricity in the production phase, including the supply chain. Volkswagen offsets unavoidable emissions by investing in forest protection or reforestation. The ID. is fully suitable for everyday use and will cost as much as a comparably equipped Golf Diesel.
For the guests at the Group Night, there were many exhibits that already make electric mobility a tangible experience today. These included the ID. BUGGY concept, based on the MEB platform, the Audi e-tron GT show car and the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo* including charging station.
* Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo: fuel consumption combined 3.0 l/100 km; power consumption combined 17.6 kWh/100 km; CO₂ emissions 69 g/km