Volkswagen to enter electric vehicles; targets aggressive environmental measures

The Volkswagen Group today said it is raising the bar for environmental protection higher and has set itself ambitious new sustainability targets.

In Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Volkswagen Group board of management, says that the Group would be reducing CO2 emissions by its European new vehicle fleet by some 30 per cent during the period 2006 to 2015 and an aggressive entry into electric vehicles.

''As a result, emissions by the Volkswagen Group fleet in 2015 will be below the important threshold of 120 grams CO2 per kilometer for the first time,'' Winterkorn announced. He went on to say that every new model generation would on average be 10 to 15 per cent more efficient than its predecessor.

It said the Group will be spending well over two thirds of its entire €62.4 billion investment programme for the coming five years directly or indirectly in more efficient vehicles, new powertrains and technologies as well as environmentally compatible production at its plants all over the world.

''Geneva 2012 marks the start of a fundamental ecological restructuring of the Volkswagen Group'', Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Volkswagen Group board of management, announced on Monday on the eve of the Geneva International Motor Show. ''Our declared goal is to make Volkswagen the leading automaker in ecological terms, too.''

To achive this Winterkorn said the the companyy's ''Modular Transverse Toolkit'' (MQB) would make significant improvements in efficiency and alternative powertrain technologies accessible across all brands and segments. ''Based on the MQB, the Volkswagen Group's efficiency technologies will be available as standard in all new models over the coming years. The next big milestones this year are the Audi A3 and our best-selling model, the Golf'', Winterkorn said.

He declared 2013 the ''year of e-mobility'' for Volkswagen, starting with the e-up!, which would then be followed by further all-electric or partially-electric vehicles from many Group brands.

Sustainable production and sustainable energy resources represent a further focus of the multi-billion investment program, he said. According to Winterkorn, ''Volkswagen is not only working on developing the most environmentally-friendly vehicles, but also on building them with the greatest possible sustainability. That is why we have set ourselves the target of making production in the Volkswagen Group 25 percent more environmentally compatible by 2018.''

He also announced that the Group was aiming for a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with production-related energy supplies by 2020: ''To that end, we will be investing some €600 million in expanding the use of renewable energies such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power.''

Volkswagen Group's targets:

  • The Volkswagen Group will be investing €62.4 billion worldwide plus an additional €14 billion in China during the period to 2016. Well over two thirds of this investment programme will be spent directly or indirectly on ever more efficient vehicles, powertrains and technologies as well as environmentally compatible production at Group plants.

  • CO2 emissions by the European new vehicle fleet will be reduced by some 30 per cent during the period from 2006 to 2015 – emissions will be below the threshold of 120 grams CO2/km for the first time by 2015.

  • Every new model generation will on average be 10 to 15 percent more efficient than its predecessor.

  • There is to be a 25 per cent improvement in the environmental compatibility of production in the Volkswagen Group by 2018. In specific terms, that means 25 percent less energy and water consumption, waste and emissions.

  • 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with production-related energy supplies by 2020.

  • To that end, it will invest around €600 million in expanding the use of renewable energies such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power.