Sustainable mobility with electric cars, CO2-neutral production and energy from renewable sources wherever possible – these are the three major steps by Volkswagen to make electric vehicles as clean as possible. Because when e-cars run on energy from coal combustion, this increases the CO2 impact and neglects potential ways to prevent CO2 emissions.
To achieve climate-neutral mobility in the long run, all signs at Volkswagen are pointing towards electric mobility. In many countries, electric cars are already the most climate-neutral means of individual transport. In Norway, for example, where nearly half of the cars have purely electric drives, average CO2 emissions dropped last year to just 71 grams per kilometer – compared to the European average of 118.5 grams in 2017. However, this was only possible because Norway is a “green” country – which gets nearly 100% of its energy from hydroelectric plants. And electric vehicles are only as clean as the electricity they get. That presents a few challenges to the rest of Europe.
What's a “zero-impact factory”?
As a rule of thumb, the greener the energy, the greener the electric car. A lot of energy goes into producing an electric car. Generally speaking, the larger the battery and therefore the longer the e-car’s range, the more CO2 was emitted to make it. But the e-car can compensate by driving. An e-car’s carbon footprint therefore improves the more kilometers it drives.
But a lot depends on what electricity is used to charge the battery – and in Germany it usually comes from the closest power plant. For consumers that means a mix, of which around 60 percent currently come from non-renewable sources. Both the government and the energy industry need to make some adjustments here in order to reach climate goals.