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Certificate trading is the best option

Climate Cabinet: Volkswagen promotes certificate trading with CO₂ pricing and stronger promotion of electric mobility.

In the run-up to the decisions of the Climate Cabinet of the Federal Government, the Volkswagen Group has spoken out clearly in favour of trading certificates to price CO2 exhaust gases in order to reduce emissions of the climate-damaging carbon dioxide. On Wednesday, Thomas Steg, General Representative of the Volkswagen Group for External Relations, explained the advantage of certificates, among other things, with the fact that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted could be better controlled with them. With certificates or emissions trading, the CO2 emissions of plants subject to emissions trading are limited to a total quantity and issued in the form of tradable rights. The lower the emissions, the more economical for a company. The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) had already advocated certificate trading as the best choice for reducing CO2 emissions.

Volkswagen, on the other hand, is sceptical about a tax as a surcharge on the price of petrol and diesel. "Everyone has followed the development of the yellow vests in France," said Thomas Steg in Wolfsburg, referring to rising fuel prices. A direct levy could raise these prices by almost eight to eleven cents per litre. However, he had the impression that the federal government wanted to proceed cautiously. Steg added that in the case of a direct price premium on petrol and diesel, it was also uncertain whether the price increase would at all bring about the desired change in drivers' behaviour.  

Stronger promotion in the lower price segment

In the climate package to be adopted by the Climate Cabinet of the German federal government this week, the Volkswagen Group is also relying on higher subsidies for the purchase of electric cars and greater differentiation according to car size - especially in the lower price segment up to 30,000 euros. If "mobility for millions" is to work, then the segment in which most vehicles are registered must be brought to the fore, Steg stressed. In addition, Volkswagen anticipates that business people will be given greater consideration in the taxation of company cars. For example, craftsmen and other small companies have not yet benefited from these tax advantages. The early growth of a used car market for e-cars is also desirable.

"The willingness to significantly increase the number of charging points is right and good," said Steg. Among other things, the eligibility of charging points should no longer only be given if they are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Volkswagen Group is already cooperating with supermarket operators to build charging points on their car parks. Volkswagen believes that local authorities and municipal utilities in particular have a duty to set up a comprehensive charging station infrastructure.

Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, had already reaffirmed the commitment of the entire Group to electromobility the previous week, during the presentation of the new ID.3* at the "International Automobile Exhibition" (IAA) in Frankfurt, calling politicians for greater commitment. "We want to make individual mobility accessible to everyone in the future as well. In other words, we are using innovative technology to make cars clean, even safer and climate-neutral. Electric mobility is the best and most efficient way to save CO2 in road traffic."

"We are facing a real system change that the automotive industry cannot manage on its own. In order for emission-free mobility to become established quickly and on a broad scale, we need a master plan and more commitment from all those involved, especially in the energy turnaround and in the nationwide expansion of the charging infrastructure. It is now a question of the Federal Government consistently continuing along the path it has embarked upon".

Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG

Electric mobility across the board

In addition, it is important that electric mobility also reaches low-income earners and small businesses. This would include extending the subsidy approach for e-mobility to used cars, continuing the preferential company car taxation or free charging for cars under 20,000 euros. "Electric driving must be worthwhile for the citizen, otherwise he will not opt for clean mobility. Because only if electric mobility becomes widespread can an even faster reduction in CO2 be achieved. This is the only correct and necessary way to meet the ambitious climate protection targets and the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement to which we have committed ourselves," Diess said.

Volkswagen wants to make the switch to the electric car as attractive as possible. In line with this, the Group also offers a complete package for convenient charging of electric cars at home. Diess personally explained the advantages of the new Wallbox to Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Volkswagen stand. With the ID. chargers, customers will in future be able to load their e-cars quickly and conveniently at home. It offers a charging capacity of up to 11 kW and charges almost five times as fast as a normal household socket. According to Volkswagen estimates, around half of all charging processes for electric cars will take place at home in the future.

Over the next ten years, almost 70 new electric models will be launched across the Group. As the first vehicle of the new generation, the ID.3* has just celebrated its world premiere at the IAA 2019. Further models of the ID. Family to follow. Climate protection will become a driving force for innovation at Volkswagen

Fuel consumption

*The vehicle is not yet for sale in Europe.

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