CO2 emissions from vehicles need to be hugely reduced on the way to a climate-neutral society. At today’s current state of play, new strict limits can only be achieved by accelerating the expansion of electric mobility. This drive technology is by far the most efficient way of decarbonizing – and Volkswagen Group is leading the way with the largest electric offensive in the automotive industry.
Over the next ten years, the Volkswagen Group will launch 70 all-electric vehicles on the market. By 2023 it will be investing 30 billion euros in e-mobility. Already in 2020, the ID. Family will launch a new generation of attractive all-electric vehicles onto the market.
Charging is part of the e-strategy
In order for the customer to make the step into e-mobility, various factors must be right: product, price, range and charging Infrastructure. With the ID.31 as the first model of the new e-generation from Volkswagen, the requirements are met. The ID.3 comes onto the market with a long range of up to 550 kilometers (WLTP) and a price of less than 30,000 euros. Charging the ID.3 will be as easy and convenient as charging a smartphone. A functioning charging infrastructure is the key to creating customer confidence and helping e-mobility to make a rapid breakthrough in Germany. To this end, Volkswagen Group has integrated the topic of charging into its e-strategy. It is driving forward the expansion of the charging infrastructure in all areas of application: at home, at work, in public spaces and on highways.
36,000 charging points by 2025
The Group, along with its partners are building a total of 36,000 charging points throughout Europe by 2025, of which 11,000 of those will come from the Volkswagen brand. They are located primarily at Volkswagen locations – and at around 3,000 Volkswagen dealers in all major cities. Volkswagen Group is investing a three-digit million sum in the charging stations at its locations alone. In addition, Volkswagen enters into strategic partnerships with major retail chains so that customers can conveniently charge their cars whilst shopping. This underscores the Group’s goal of providing suitable infrastructure solutions in addition to attractive electric cars.
But it is also clear that all this is not enough to get electric mobility out of its niche. With the expected breakthrough of e-mobility and the growth of electric cars on the roads, the charging infrastructure must be expanded even further. In Germany alone, it is estimated that up to 210,000 public charging points will be required by 2025.
Many questions, sometimes myths or even fears, surround e-mobility. Here you can read the twelve most important questions about electric cars and charging:
1. "An e-car is too expensive. Nobody can afford it!"
Electric cars are becoming increasingly attractive and affordable. For example, the cost of a battery has fallen by around 80 percent in the last ten years. With the ID.3, Volkswagen is introducing an electric car that costs exactly the same as an equivalent Golf TDI. On top of this, buyers in some markets can often apply for a government grant and the running costs of an electric car are lower. The electric car can be as inexpensive as a comparable diesel.
2. “There are not enough charging stations!”
The number of electric charging stations is growing rapidly. Today, there are already more than 17,400 public charging stations in Germany – and that number is growing by the day. Supermarkets, hotels and car park operators are installing charging stations for their customers, while companies are doing the same for their employees. Also, charging is child's play: with Volkswagen’s “We Charge” charging card, customers will be able to receive electricity from roughly 100,000 stations around Europe in the future.
3. “E-cars are far too dangerous!”
E-cars offer just as much safety as conventional vehicles. Electric cars guarantee maximum safety. Both the fire hazard and the risk of electric shock are avoided by special safety systems. In the event of an accident, for example, the current flow of the battery is interrupted immediately. In addition, the battery at Volkswagen is installed in a large, crash-proof block in the underbody and thus protected against deformation. German automotive association, ADAC, have repeatedly shown in tests that the risk of fire is just as low with electric cars as with combustion engines.
4. “Charging takes too long!”
Already today, high-power charging stations ensure short waiting times for refueling. But fast charging has been the exception so far. Around 70 percent of all charging takes place at home or at work, where time does not play a major role. And if you have to go fast on longer journeys, the ID.3's fast charging capability, with up to 125 kilowatts of power, also makes this possible. The charging process itself is very simple: App and vehicle not only show the way to the next free charging station, but also provide information on the various socket variants available on site.
5. “Too many e-cars will overload the grid!”
A secure energy supply is also guaranteed with electric cars. Can the German power grid cope with a boom in e-cars? The answer is yes. Studies come to the conclusion that even millions of additional electric cars would have no effect on the German power grid. Annual electricity consumption in Germany is around 520 terawatt hours. One million electric cars need around 2.4 terawatt hours per year – just 0.5 percent of the total requirement.
6. “E-cars do nothing for the climate!”
As things stand today, electric cars have the best carbon footprint of all drive types over their entire life cycle. They are therefore an important contribution to climate protection. Studies show that they cause significantly less CO2 than diesel or gasoline powered vehicles. The battery car also performs well compared to vehicles powered by hydrogen and eFuel (synthetic fuel). Volkswagen even goes one step further with the ID.3 – and for the first time offers a balance sheet completely CO2 -neutral car.
7. “E-cars cost jobs!”
Volkswagen’s E-Offensive secures employment. An electric car can be produced with about 30 percent less effort than a combustion engine. In the long-term, there could therefore be fewer jobs in the automotive industry. This makes it all the more important to achieve a good market position for e-mobility right from the start. After all, the more successful a company is in marketing an e-car, the more secure its jobs will be. This is exactly what Volkswagen is doing with its E-Offensive, which safeguards jobs.
8. “E-cars are a danger to pedestrians!"
Unlike conventional cars, electric motors have no combustion engine and are therefore – depending on the driving situation – extremely quiet. Low noise is basically an advantage, but so that the electric car does not pose a danger to pedestrians either, the ID.3 will produce its own futuristic sound up to a speed of around 30 kilometers per hour. This way it will definitely be heard! A sound will be mandatory for all electric cars from summer 2019.
9. “E-car driving isn't fun!”
The electric car is not only fast, but also comfortable. Electric cars are fun. Especially when accelerating, the electric motor demonstrates that it has a lot of power. If you push the gas pedal down fully, you are pushed into the seats – almost like when starting in an airplane. The explanation: electric motors have full torque available right from the start. And then there’s the highly dynamic road holding: because the batteries in the vehicle floor literally push the car onto the road, the Volkswagen ID.3, for example, is full of power and sporty prowess.
10. "The e-car can only drive short distances!"
The electric car can also cover long distances. The problem with the range has been solved: with the new electric cars, ranges of up to 550 kilometers according to WLTP are now possible. The charging infrastructure is also getting better and better, especially on highways and trunk roads. Electric charging station operator IONITY is building a fast charging infrastructure along these routes every 120 kilometers up until 2020. Of course, the charging network will continue to grow in the coming years.
11. "There aren’t enough raw materials!"
There’s enough lithium there and cobalt’s hardly required anymore. There are enough raw materials available. With the existing lithium deposits, batteries for billions of electric cars could be produced according to today’s state of technology. In addition, the batteries are constantly being further developed. For example, the cobalt content is to be reduced from twelve percent today to six percent. And old batteries are being reused. In the long term, a recycling rate of up to 97 percent is possible.
12. “Electric cars look boring!”
The ID. Family vehicles are real eye-catchers. The ID. Family from Volkswagen gets a modern, almost futuristic design with light elements and fine edges. The same applies to the interior. Since an electric motor requires considerably less space, the proportions can be completely redesigned – and this benefits the design and the amount of space in the interior. In the future, there will be an electric car to suit every taste and need.
1 Camouflaged prototype