Volkswagen Group has made significant improvements regarding the CO2 levels of its new cars – nevertheless, in 2020 it was not quite enough to meet the European target values. How do you assess the outcome?
The progress made shows that the company is on the right track with the switch to electric drive vehicles. Some brands such as Volkswagen and Audi have already met or exceeded 2020 EU targets – that deserves recognition. Other Group brands are expected to improve significantly this year. The positive results show that it was right to set clear legal targets for CO2 emissions. For a long time, it was disputed whether voluntary commitments by automakers were not the better way forward. Today we can identify that: The EU rules are working.
What must be done next?
The electrification of new cars is good. Now manufacturers should look at their model ranges. We should ask ourselves: Do we really need so many big cars to get from A-to-B? I think: We should focus on more small, efficient models. Such cars require less energy and are affordable for more people. The second important issue is that the shift to wind and solar energy must continue. Electromobility is only as clean as the electricity.
How can we achieve a clean electricity mix across Europe as quickly as possible?
With the European Green Deal, there is a lot of money available for investment. We must ensure that it is invested sustainably: in renewable energy sources and greater energy efficiency. This is not only better ecologically, but also economically. We need common European strategies for phasing out coal. After the pandemic, we must not be content with stabilizing the economy alone. Europe needs green, future-proof innovation. The European CEOs’ Green Deal initiative is an important contribution. Companies are ready to change.