Sunday, 16 August 2020

Innovation without sacrifice: SUVs and climate protection

Climate change is one of the most crucial challenges facing humanity. We all have a responsibility to stop global warming. Volkswagen was the world’s first car manufacturer to commit itself to the goals of the Paris Agreement. The entire Group is to become carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest. In order to protect the climate and implement the relevant political provisions, we are rigorously redesigning our vehicles to meet electric mobility standards. That also applies to SUVs, a growing favorite among customers all over the world, but often criticized as environmental “sinners”. SUVs are a key element in the Group-wide electric offensive towards sustainable mobility. For the Group with its 12 brands, over 120 production sites worldwide and some 11million vehicles built each year, the pathway is clearly defined. “GoTOzero”, the Group’s environmental mission statement, builds on four main areas of activity – climate change, resources, air quality and environmental compliance. The Group plans to spend nearly €60 billion on the future areas of hybridization, electric mobility and digitalization in the period to 2024. This amounts to slightly more than 40 percent of the company’s investments in property, plant and equipment and all Volkswagen is fully committed to electrification as the lead technology, thus setting the course for sustainable mobility for everyone – today. The Volkswagen ID.3 built in Zwickau, for example, will be delivered to customers with a carbon-neutral footprint. During the car’s service life, Volkswagen offers green power via its subsidiary Elli and attractively-priced wallboxes for home charging. The ID.3 is soon to be followed by the ID.4, a zero-emission SUV. Volkswagen is electrifying the SUV segment – thus combining environmental protection with the flexibility desired by customers. The typical characteristics of SUVs make them a popular choice with an increasing number of customers – they offer a high seating position, greater space and flexibility. Many models in this class such as the Volkswagen T-Roc or T-Cross are by no means dinosaurs. They are compact, with external dimensions similar to a Polo or a Golf. More and more customers want to drive exactly this kind of car. In the USA and China, SUVs are the most popular vehicle segment. And their market share in Europe and Germany is also steadily growing. Today, well over one in four vehicles sold by the Group is an SUV. The SUV campaign of recent years is Volkswagen’s response to growing customer demand – and has at the same time strengthened core business. This vehicle class makes a vital contribution to securing the company’s investments in future technologies such as electric mobility and autonomous driving. Speaking of sustainability, modern SUVs and CUVs, for example from the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, are already making a significant contribution to reducing the burden on CO₂ today. A Volkswagen T-Roc 1.6 TDI with 85 kW/115 PS has a CO₂ output of around 111 g/km – comparable to a Golf 1.6 TDI with the same engine (109 g/km). In SUV production, too, the Group is making great efforts to reduce CO₂ emissions. By increasing energy efficiency – for example by optimizing plant infrastructure and switching to renewable energies – CO₂ emissions per vehicle are to be reduced by 45 percent by 2025 (compared to 2010). This means SUVs from Volkswagen not only meet the highest standards in terms of technology, innovation and comfort, but also in terms of sustainability. Article source:

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