Way to Zero
Mobility is going carbon-neutral
Volkswagen has a clear objective: carbon-neutral mobility for everyone. At the Volkswagen Way to Zero Convention, representatives of the company talked about this with independent experts from the worlds of business, politics and science. The digital conference, that took place on 29 April 2021, revolved around three key concepts: How will Volkswagen make mobility CO2 emissions-free; what do customers expect; and what will help society along its path toward carbon-neutrality?
Way to Zero: Volkswagen presents roadmap for climate-neutral mobilityAt the first Way to Zero Convention, Volkswagen today gave details of its plans for decarbonizing the company and its products. The company intends to be net carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest. A new interim milestone is the targeted 40-percent reduction in CO2 emissions per vehicle in Europe by 2030 – substantially outperforming the Group target of 30 percent (baseline: 2018). As a result, an average Volkswagen would emit around 17 tons less carbon dioxide. As well as accelerating the transition to e-mobility, the production (including supply chain) and operation of electric cars is to be made net carbon neutral. Added to this is the systematic recycling of the high-voltage batteries from old electric vehicles.
All-green electric: The ID. Family goes carbon-neutralVolkswagen has committed itself to the Paris climate agreement. Which is why the company delivers ID. Family vehicles to customers with a carbon-neutral balance. In order that electric vehicles remain carbon-neutral during their usage phase, they must be charged with green electricity. To ensure that this is in good supply, Volkswagen supports investments in the generation of additional green electricity.
Its strategy is based on four central pillars: swift electrification of the vehicle fleet, decarbonisation of production and supply chains, consistent use of green energy during the usage phase and the recycling of high-voltage batteries. The first Dossier summarises this strategy in order to offer a quick overview, while the other Dossiers provide more details on the four pillars.
On the Way to ZERO– The General StrategyVolkswagen is on its way to ZERO. In concrete terms, this means: the company has committed itself to the targets of the Paris Agreement and the EU’s European Green Deal. The long-term goal is to become completely carbon-neutral by 2050. This is a marathon that starts with a sprint: Volkswagen’s goal for 2030 is to reduce emissions per vehicle in Europe by 40 percent compared to 2018, which means that each Volkswagen vehicle will then emit 17 tonnes less CO2 on average throughout its life-cycle. Volkswagen is eager to make a substantial contribution to mitigating climate change and, at the same time, become the most coveted brand for sustainable mobility.
Electric offensive: Volkswagen is committed to battery electric vehiclesOn the journey to carbon neutrality, the product portfolio plays a decisive role. The company is picking up speed, ramping up production figures and covering all segments – “This is how we plan to make Volkswagen the most popular brand for sustainable mobility”, says CEO Ralf Brandstätter. Over the next few years, Volkswagen Passenger Cars will be launching at least one new electric model every year.
Less CO2 in production and supply chainsThe second main pillar on the Way to Zero is carbon reduction in the supply chains and production. The goal for 2030 is to have just about all the external energy supply required by Volkswagen’s global production factories to come from renewable sources. The decarbonisation of production also incorporates suppliers. Supply chains and production make up around 48% of an electric vehicle’s carbon footprint.
Green energy for new electric vehiclesAbout 50 percent of an electric vehicle's carbon footprint is generated during the usage phase. That is why Volkswagen has made the consistent use of green energy the third pillar of its Way to Zero. After all, new sustainable mobility unfolds its full environmental potential if enough green energy is available to charge electric vehicles.
Battery recycling: After the end of a vehicle’s service lifeVolkswagen's decarbonisation strategy extends far beyond the vehicle’s service life. Volkswagen Group Components runs the Group’s first plant for recycling electric car batteries in Salzgitter - a committed step towards sustainable end-to-end responsibility for the entire value chain of the electric vehicle battery.