Volkswagen aims to achieve climate-neutral mobility by 2050, reveals roadmap

German car manufacturer Volkswagen, which also own brands like Audi, Porsche, has set a target for itself to become completely carbon neutral as far as mobility is concerned in another 30 years. At the first Way to Zero Convention, Volkswagen shared its roadmap achieve the target.

A Volkswagen logo is seen on ID.6 and ID.6 CROZZ SUV at the Shanghai Auto Show. (File Photo) (REUTERS)
A Volkswagen logo is seen on ID.6 and ID.6 CROZZ SUV at the Shanghai Auto Show. (File Photo)

Volkswagen has set a target of 40-percent reduction in carbon emissions for each vehicle in Europe by the end of the decade. If achieved, Volkswagen would be able to reduce its carbon footprint by 17 tons. An integral part of the plan is to ensure that the production, including supply chain, and operation of electric cars to become absolutely carbon neutral. Volkswagen also plans to recycle the high-voltage batteries from old electric vehicles.

"Volkswagen stands for sustainable e-mobility for all. We’ve set out on the ‘Way To Zero’ and are consistently placing the environment at the focus of all our activities," said Ralf Brandstatter, CEO of Volkswagen. "Our big electric offensive was just the start. We’re taking a holistic approach to decarbonization: from production through service life to recycling. And we’re the first car maker to support the expansion of renewable energies on an industrial scale," he said.

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According to the German auto giant, a key factor in achieving carbon-neutral e-mobility is to be able to provide energy through renewable resources to charge its vehicles. The carmaker believes this single move will reduce carbon emissions by almost half. For that, the carmaker will be the first to directly support setting up new wind farms and solar plants in several parts of Europe by 2025.

In Germany, Volkswagen is supporting the construction of the largest independent solar project in Germany with a total capacity of 170 million kilowatt hours each year. The plant is expected be completed by the end of this year.

Volkswagen claims that the projects supported by it together will be able to generate around seven terawatt hours of additional green electricity in the next four years.

Volkswagen is also working to reduce carbon footprint in production and supply chain. All Volkswagen facilities in Europe currently run on electricity from renewable resources. In June last year, the facility in Zwickau was transformed into a factory where only electric cars from the manufacturer will be built. It uses green electricity to run the facility. Volkswagen plans to replicate this in all its plants across the world from 2030. However, the facilities in China do not feature in the plan yet.

Volkswagen is also planning a systematic recycling of electric car batteries. This will allow more than 90 percent of raw materials to be reused in the future.

At the heart of the Way to Zero is Volkswagen’s new Accelerate strategy aimed at full electrification of its fleet. By 2030, Volkswagen plans at least 70 percent of its cars to be electric when they go on sale in Europe, and 50 per cent in North America and China.

"The ‘Way to Zero’ is our roadmap for effective climate protection, with clear and ambitious milestones. We live up to our responsibility for the environment. The ‘Way to Zero’ will provide us with a real competitive advantage. In the future, employees, customers and investors will give preference to those companies which place their social and environmental responsibility at the heart of their business. Sustainability will thus become a crucial factor in corporate success," said Ralf Brandstatter. "However, Volkswagen cannot shoulder the decarbonization of mobility on its own. Government, industry and society need to come together to develop good ideas and make courageous investments."

Volkswagen will be launching at least one new electric car each year. One day before the Convention, Volkswagen presented the ID.4 GTX, the next model in the all-electric ID. family and teased another upcoming ID model named ID.5.

First Published Date: 30 Apr 2021, 14:46 PM IST
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