2. Sustainability
  3. Reporting
  4. Brands
  5. Volkswagen

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Sustainable mobility is a key target area in the TRANSFORM 2025+ strategy of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand.

Core aspects are to cut CO2 emissions over the entire product lifecycle from resource extraction to recycling, to increase the products’ environmental compatibility, and to optimize other ecological and social aspects, such as by developing mobility solutions that reduce the burden on cities.

The Group’s core brand is represented in more than 150 markets worldwide and makes vehicles at production sites in 14 countries. The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand shipped 5.328 million vehicles in 2020, despite major challenges, and currently employs more than 180,000 people. The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand wants to move you. The “TRANSFORM 2025+” strategy therefore centers on a global model initiative through which the brand aims to lead innovation, technology and quality in the volume segment and continues to drive the transformation towards e-mobility.

The three highlight projects 2020

“The Volkswagen brand – Transformation from a car manufacturer to a mobility service provider in the age of e-mobility and digitalization.”

  • 1. Carbon-neutral handover of ID.3 models to customers – From vision to reality
  • 2. Volkswagen launches an e-mobility offensive and achieves a turning point and the breakthrough for e-mobility in 2020
  • 3. Volkswagen WeShare launched in Berlin with all-electric cars – and is fitted out with the ID.3

Carbon-neutral handover of the ID.3 to customers – From vision to reality

In 2018 Volkswagen announced that it would be the first manufacturer to make and ship a mass-produced e-vehicle in a CO2-neutral manner: The carbon footprint of the new ID models will be optimized throughout the supply chain and production when it is launched in 2020 and unavoidable emissions will be compensated for by means of projects aimed at protecting the climate. In September 2020, the first carbon-neutral ID.3 was handed over to the customer at the Gläserne Manufaktur.

Volkswagen has converted the entire Zwickau plant to all-electric vehicle production for the cars in the ID family. In line with the rule of “first avoid, then reduce, and last of all compensate for unavoidable emissions,” extensive measures to increase energy efficiency were undertaken as part of that transformation and its external power supply was converted to green electricity.

In accordance with the same principle, upstream and downstream CO2 emissions caused by the ID models up to handover to the customer are reduced, for example by the makers of the high-voltage battery being obligated to use green electricity to produce the battery cells.

Unavoidable emissions are compensated for by means of investments in certified climate protection projects. These include protecting forests in tropical regions, since the biggest quantities of carbon per hectare are absorbed there, and expansion of renewable energies.

The medium-term goal is to cooperate with further partners to develop new forest conservation projects that help protect the climate, support the local population long term in compliance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and contribute to preserving biodiversity.

Until it implements its own projects, Volkswagen will support the Katingan Mentaya project of the project developer Permian Global, among others, to ensure carbon-neutral handover of ID models. This project aims to protect carbon-rich peatland forest in Indonesia. Protecting this 149,800-hectare forest in Central Kalimantan on the island of Borneo prevents the release of around 7.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

Based on the concept of CO2-neutral manufacture, the ID models can be run by customers in a carbon-neutral manner if they are powered strictly using electricity from renewable energies over their entire lifecycle.

Volkswagen launches an e-mobility offensive and achieves a turning point and the breakthrough for e-mobility in 2020

The Volkswagen brand shipped more than 212,000 e-vehicles worldwide in 2020. Almost 134,000 of them were purely battery-powered, an increase of 197 percent compared to 2019.

In 2020, Volkswagen Passenger Cars brought out nine new electric and plug-in hybrid models. As a result, the share of BEV and hybrid vehicles in Europe climbed to 12.4 percent of the brand’s total shipments – compared to 2.3 percent in 2019. The most popular model was the ID.3 with 56,500 units – despite the fact that it was not launched until September.

The ID.3 was the most-shipped BEV in the markets of Finland, Slovenia and Norway in December 2020, for instance. The ID.3 was even the biggest-selling car in absolute terms in Sweden in December 2020 – regardless of drive system. The Volkswagen brand managed to capture the top spot among all-electric vehicles in the Netherlands and Germany in the whole of 2020.

Volkswagen WeShare launched in Berlin with all-electric cars – and is fitted out with the ID.3

Volkswagen entered the expanding carsharing market with “WeShare” in 2019, thereby adding an attractive mobility service to its “Volkswagen We” ecosystem.

Free-floating carsharing can help cities achieve their sustainability goals in a big way. Thanks to state-of-the-art drive technologies, increasing electrification of fleets, and higher utilization of the vehicles compared to private passenger cars, free-floating carsharing can reduce emissions and the amount of space cars take up in cities. In conjunction with local public transport and other innovative solutions, mobility carsharing is a genuine alternative to private car ownership. Volkswagen is therefore establishing free-floating carsharing as a major and scalable component in its mobility mix.

WeShare included the ID.3 in the existing carsharing fleet in Berlin as of November 2020. The company is first integrating 60 models of Volkswagen’s new compact electric car in several stages. WeShare will then gradually replace the entire current fleet of 1,500 E-Golf models with the ID.3.

In the second half of 2019, the WeShare e-vehicles in Berlin covered a distance of more than three million kilometers. Berlin’s public charging network is used to “refuel” the fleet and is complemented by a further 70 charging points at selected food retailers.

Awards / Successes 2020

Good placement in the LGBT* Diversity Index

Volkswagen’s LGBTIQ* network WE DRIVE PROUD has been awarded 11th place in the LGBT* Diversity Index by the UHLALA Group. Volkswagen was listed 18th in 2019. The good placement and higher ranking are due to the campaigns that were staged by the employee network and addressed the issue of sexual and gender diversity. One example: An interview with a trans* woman from Technical Development was published on the intranet. It also earned a lot of praise from outside the company and even picked up the accolade of being acknowledged as a best practice by the Diversity Charter.

*LGBTIQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender*, Intersex*, Queer. The initialism first emerged in the United States and also caught on in Germany. It denotes people who differ from the heterosexual norm due to their sexual orientation, gender identify or body. The latest model generation of the Volkswagen Polo captured the prestigious “World Urban Car of the Year” award at the 2018 New York Auto Show. The World Car Awards are held annually, with more than 80 international automotive journalists from 24 countries voting on the best new cars in the global market. The World Urban Car of the Year award was presented for the second time this year. The jury bestows this accolade on vehicles that excel in tackling the challenges of space constraints for traffic in cities and conurbations.

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