With its major electric offensive, Volkswagen wants to make a contribution to achieving the climate targets agreed in the Paris Agreement. But because the electric car is only as clean as the electricity with which it is produced and charged, the Wolfsburg-based company is now also taking a closer look at the so-called supply chain – e.g. the upstream production of materials and components through to the extraction of the raw materials required for this.
The supply chain is also so important for sustainable e-mobility because the production of battery cells is still very energy-intensive. As a result, the production of an e-vehicle generates significantly more CO2 than that of cars with a combustion engine – around 150 percent on average. Compared to conventional drives, electric cars therefore have a disadvantage in the CO2 balance right from the start. Consistent climate protection must therefore start early.
That is not easy. If a car manufacturer wants to avoid and reduce CO2 in the supply chain, this means a special challenge. Partner companies must be convinced. The supply chains in the automotive industry are widely ramified. And there are no direct business relationships with many participants, such as mining companies. In many cases, the first step is to provide the required transparency. "Transparency in the supply chain – especially for graphite, cobalt, lithium, and nickel – is a prerequisite for the assessment of social and environmental standards", says Dr. Stefan Sommer, Group Board Member for Procurement.