Germany: E-mobility for everyone
More than 30,000 pre-bookers have registered in advance for an ID.31, and this year they will be able to take delivery of their car. This means that Volkswagen Group’s vision of building e-cars for the masses is now becoming reality. Further fully electric models from the ID. Family will follow in the coming years. By 2029, Volkswagen plans to launch up to 75 pure electric models across the Group, plus around 60 hybrid vehicles.
Austria: Right-turn ban for trucks
From 2022, new trucks throughout the EU must be equipped with turning assistant technology. For Vienna’s Traffic Minister however, this is not happening fast enough. In Austria’s capital city, a ban on right-turns is therefore to be introduced as early as spring 2020 for all vehicles over 7.5 tons without a corresponding system. A transition period of one year is under discussion.
Czech Republic: Car-sharing is coming
WeShare, the free-floating car-sharing service from Volkswagen, is growing. In spring 2020, the company plans to expand first to Prague with ŠKODA and then to Hamburg. After that, WeShare will also be launched in Paris, Madrid, Budapest, Munich and Milan. In all cities, WeShare will offer a fully electric fleet of around 8,400 electric vehicles. In Prague and Budapest, WeShare will cooperate with ŠKODA. In the other metropolises in Germany, France, Spain and Italy, the e-up!3 and, at the end of the year, the ID.31 will be used in addition to the e-Golf2.
The Netherlands: 100 km/h speed-limit introduced
Environmental speed limit – in the Netherlands, a speed limit of 100 km/h will apply on motorways from March 1. The restriction will apply during daytime hours, between 6am and 7pm, while at night the existing limit of 130 km/h will remain in force. The new regulation is part of a government package of measures to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. The country has been exceeding the emission limits set by the EU for years.
Sweden: Northvolt battery recycling
The Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt, in which Volkswagen has a stake of around 20 percent, is starting a pilot plant for battery recycling in Västerås this year. Northvolt’s aim is to reduce the consumption of raw materials and CO2 emissions in battery production. The initial capacity in Västerås will be 100 tons of recycled material per year. By 2030, every new e-car battery should contain at least 50 percent recycled material.
China: First e-power production plants begin
In 2020, the first two Volkswagen plants designed purely for electric cars will begin series production. In Anting and Foshan, the SAIC VOLKSWAGEN and FAW-Volkswagen joint ventures will produce around 600,000 pure electric vehicles on the MEB basis every year. MEB production “Made in China” is then to be gradually expanded to 15 different MEB models across different brands by 2025.
Japan: Olympic holiday granted
In 2020 Tokyo will host the Olympic Summer Games. The Japanese government wants to show how advanced the country is in terms of climate protection and air purity – and has set up an extensive program to reduce the volume of traffic in central Tokyo by 30 percent. Perhaps the most striking measure is that all Japanese citizens will receive four days of special leave for the opening of the games and another three days for the final.
India: Stricter emission standards adopted
In 2020, stricter emission standards will come into force in India, opening a new chapter in the subcontinent’s passenger car market. In an unusual step, the government decided to skip one emission standard stage and switch directly from the current BS-IV (Euro 4) to BS-VI (Euro 6) standard. Thanks to timely developments, all Volkswagen Group models based on the ‘INDIA 2.0’ strategy will comply with these standards. With emissions of 2,654 Megatons, India is the third largest CO2 emitter worldwide after China and the USA.
Australia: Success in battery research
It could increase the range of electric cars to more than 1,000 kilometers: In January 2020, researchers from the Australian University of Monash presented a lithium-sulfur battery that is said to be the most efficient in the world. The rechargeable battery can supply a smartphone with energy for five days without interruption. The first tests with batteries of the new type in cars and solar parks are to take place in Australia this year.
USA: Lanes for environmentally friendly cars
In California, cars with low CO2 emissions have been allowed to use so-called HOV lanes (high-occupancy vehicle lane) since this year – even if only one person is in the car. These lanes are otherwise reserved for cars with at least two occupants. All vehicles that fall below specified emission levels are marked with a “clean air sticker”.
Brazil: Construction of rapid charging stations begin
The energy group EDP Brasil wants to build 30 fast charging stations in the state of São Paulo by 2022 in cooperation with Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen and other partners. It is the largest fast charging station project in South America. The first of these are scheduled to go online this year. E-cars can be charged there up to 80 percent in 25-to-30 minutes.
South Africa: Strict blood alcohol limits
In order to make the country’s roads safer, South Africa wants to tighten up some road traffic regulations. In 2020, for example, the speed limit is to be reduced by 20 km/h. Only 100 km/h would then be permitted on motorways, and 80 km/h on other main roads. Within built-up areas, the speed limit would in future be 40 km/h. In addition, there will be no more tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol: even those caught driving with small amounts of alcohol in their blood will be liable to prosecution.
Kenya: Start of construction for Africa’s first hybrid power plant
The power plant called “Meru County Power Park” combines wind and photovoltaic power generation with battery storage. In early February, workers began installing the 20 wind turbines and more than 40,000 solar panels. The 80-MW plant is expected to supply more than 200,000 households with renewable energy and could also give a boost to e-mobility. In the capital Nairobi, the first mobility start-ups will switch to electric motorcycles and minibuses in spring 2020.
Nigeria: Ban on motorcycle taxis in Lagos
The local government of Lagos has banned motorcycle taxis and private motorcycles in large parts of the Nigerian capital. This is due to thousands of accidents with more than 600 deaths since 2016, and from February 2020 only delivery motorcycles will be permitted. In recent years, a real start-up boom has developed around motorized two-wheeler taxis, with numerous ride-hailing providers competing for customers in the 20 million metropolis. The big advantage: the two-wheelers were able to meander past the numerous traffic jams. This is now over.
1 ID.3 – This vehicle is not yet offered for sale in Europe
2 e-Golf – Power consumption in kWh/100 km: 12.7 combined; CO2 emissions combined in g/km: 0, efficiency class: A+
3 e-up! - Power consumption in kWh/100 km (NEDC): 12.9-12.7 combined, CO2 emissions combined in g/km: 0, efficiency class: A+.