In the light of new EU laws on CO2 emissions for passenger cars, Volkswagen has had to rethink its electrification policy and produce more EVs than planned. This means more EV models and more manufacturing plants.
As we reported new EU regulations on CO2 targets were announced early this week. CO2 emissions from new cars will have to decrease by 37.5% by 2030 and 31% for vans. Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess immediately acknowledged that their current electrification strategy would no longer be sufficient.
Before the new EU restrictions, the Volkswagen Group had calculated that around 1.2 million purely electric vehicles would have to be sold in Europe in 2030. But now that the EU has decided that the CO2 emissions of new passenger cars must be reduced by 37.5 per cent from 2021 to 2030, the German trade newspaper Handelsblatt, cited that “industrial sources” have calculated that an additional 600,000 electric cars must be sold each year by 2030.
In his initial reaction to the EU decision, Volkswagen CEO Diess had already announced that the Group would be redirecting more efforts towards electromobility than previously planned. Today the Handelsblatt reported that according to ‘industry insiders’, Volkswagen would probably need at least seven additional electric models based on the new MEB electric construction kit – and of course the capacity to produce them.
This means that despite their existing plans for new EV plants, now at least one more EV plant would have to be added. Volkswagen was already planning to convert plants in Emden and Hanover to produce electric vehicles after 2022. A year ago the company had already announced the reconstruction of the VW factory in Zwickau to produce EVs, where the starting signal for the production of the first vehicle based on MEB will already be given at the end of next year.
Now, it is clear that the numbers of combustion engine vehicles sold will have to be reduced, meaning there will be extra space and capacity in plants previously used for making diesel and petrol vehicles. According to the above-mentioned report, Volkswagen is already thinking about using some of these plants for the assembly of electric vehicles.
At the same time, however, Diess has warned that the implementation of the electrical plans could not be guaranteed today. “In this context, the generation of environmentally friendly electricity and the necessary charging infrastructure are completely unclear,” emphasized the VW boss.
Concrete decisions will probably not be taken until autumn next year. Volkswagen traditionally decides on its investment plans in November.
handelsblatt.com, (in German with a paywall)