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„We need a European Masterplan for e-mobility“

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is demanding binding expansion plans for the charging infrastructure from the EU. The coal phase-out must also be accelerated.

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess advocates a significant acceleration in the development of the charging infrastructure for electric cars in Europe. "We need a European Masterplan for e-mobility", said the CEO at the Volkswagen Group's New Year's reception in Brussels. The EU must provide binding expansion plans for each individual member state, he said. Diess also called on the European Union to help those countries that have the biggest catch-up process ahead of them. Only if there were sufficient charging points could electric cars really establish themselves on the market. The Netherlands was particularly progressive in this respect, while Germany was only in the middle of the field. “The Netherlands has almost 20 charging points per 100 kilometres of road, in Germany it is less than three,” Diess said. “A million charging stations is not a moon-shot project.”

One CO₂ price for all sectors

Diess praised the Green Deal announced by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen with investments of around one trillion euros as ambitious. This makes it all the more important to take concrete steps immediately to make the fleet climate-neutral by the year 2050. “We need one clear CO₂ price for all sectors – A price that is motivating us as industry and consumers in a better way – to reduce our carbon footprint more powerfully. We have to be more courageous on this”, said Diess.

Power generation as a “national patchwork quilt”

Diess described the still high share of coal-fired power generation in Eastern Europe and Germany as the “biggest problem” on the way to climate neutrality. “Seven of the ten largest CO₂ emitters in Europe are German coal-fired power plants,” he said. Up to now, the EU has treated electricity as a “national patchwork quilt. This must change,” Diess said. “We need a European coal exit plan with binding phase-out dates for each member state. Otherwise we have no chance to reach our climate goals. The energy for electric vehicles must be CO₂-free!”

Against this background, the CEO referred to the Volkswagen Group's announcement that it intends to bring the CO₂ emissions of its fleet to zero by 2050 – the aim is to achieve a 30 percent reduction by 2025. However, the switch to electric mobility would be difficult to achieve if the power supply continued to rely primarily on coal, which would mean that carbon dioxide emissions could not be reduced significantly. Volkswagen is investing around 33 billion euros in electromobility over the next few years.

May also be of interest

To recording of the live talk: @GreensEFA MEP @BasEickhout and our #VWGroup CEO Herbert Diess on #shapingmobility