Short Circuit

Greenpeace have their eyes trained on Volkswagen


The Greenpeace vs Volkswagen saga continues as the NGO finds the Group has registered a “disproportionately high number” of new electrified cars to themselves and their dealers when compared to ICE, allegedly to avoid fines. Volkswagen reacts rather dryly.

We will get to Volkswagen in a second but not before delivering a backdrop to the Greenpeace report. It is not the first time the NGO tries to hold VW responsible – and to increasingly high standards. While the day of the dark force seem over, Greenpeace went on a mystery shopping spree last December to find 50 VW dealerships practically unprepared (or allegedly unwilling) to sell electric cars.

However, the new report now found the share of Volkswagen’s registrations (manufacturer + dealer) in all BEV in December was 28.8 per cent. That is almost every fourth ID car “sold,” says Greenpeace. For PHEV, the share in registrations held by Volkswagen and their dealers was 27.3 per cent. Greenpeace compared these to 15.5 per cent for gasoline cars, diesel, mild hybrids and other internal combustion engines. The organisation also says that internal registrations are almost double what it is for other carmakers with plug-ins in their portfolio.

VW counters Greenpeace’s renewed criticism calmly: “It is in the nature of things that when you launch an electric offensive and bring out many new models, you first equip the dealers.”

We are inclined to agree. More electric cars could and should be sold of course (if that means fewer ICEs on the roads). Only Volkswagen, in recent times, has become one of the few mass manufacturers trying to turn out the volume required to begin making a difference. In its latest investment planning round for 2021 to 2025, Volkswagen budgeted 35 billion euros for electric mobility, two billion more than before. So, 2021 will be the time to deliver literally.

Do take a look at Greenpeace’s detailed report though. They list sales numbers across the EU plus the UK, Norway and Iceland. Their claim, Volkswagen had dodged 140 million euros in EU emission fines by registering enough plug-in cars through themselves to lower their fleet emissions by half a gramme. They had still missed the target as reported., (reaction VW, both in German)


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