For the service life, Volkswagen offers many opportunities to “fill-up” the e-car with climate-friendly electricity. For charging at home, there is Volkswagen Naturstrom: for every kilowatt hour the customer consumes, the same amount of electricity from renewable sources such as wind power, solar energy or hydroelectric power is fed into the grid. Currently, most of the electricity comes from hydroelectric power plants in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Whilst underway, customers charge with 100 percent green electricity at the fast-charging stations belonging to the IONITY joint venture.
Zwickau plant as a pioneer
In production, Volkswagen is reducing its ecological footprint across the Group as part of its “goTOzero” environmental mission statement: By 2025, the plants aim to reduce CO₂ emissions per vehicle produced by 45 per cent compared to 2010. The Zwickau electric vehicle plant is one of the pioneers in this respect: it only uses externally certified Volkswagen Naturstrom electricity from renewable sources. It also has a highly efficient combined heat power (CHP) plant that in the long term will be operated with CO₂-neutral gas. Buildings and systems are continuously being optimized for energy efficiency, for example by using frequency-controlled fans and pumps. In this way, electricity, water and heat requirements are continuously reduced.
Green electricity is also used for the energy-intensive battery cell production at suppliers. Since July 1, 2019, Volkswagen has also been auditing its suppliers according to a global sustainability rating. In 2019, around 12,000 suppliers were surveyed and around 1,300 sustainability audits were carried out.
In the transition to a CO₂-neutral economy lies a great economic opportunity. “With the strategic goal of becoming the world’s leading provider of e-mobility, focusing on consistent decarbonization can be a strong competitive advantage,” said Georg Kell, spokesman for Volkswagen’s independent sustainability advisory board. “In any case, it offers the best way to set the course for a joint path to a secure and economically successful future on a planet worth living on.”