Volkswagen has said that it is laying the groundwork for sustainable mobility with its e-mobility strategy.

The company says the new ID model – which goes into production at the end of the year – will play a pioneering role. As the VW Group’s first electric car it will be CO2 neutral throughout the entire life cycle if the customer consistently charges with green power, the company claims.

Regarding the manufacturing phase alone, VW says the carbon footprint of the ID will be improved by more than 1 million tons of CO2 per year. This, it says, is roughly the climate impact of a coal-fired power plant that supplies 300,000 households with electricity. In addition, Volkswagen is working on a ‘comprehensive decarbonisation program that includes measures for other models’. The brand will offer more than 20 fully electric models by 2025.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our times,” said Thomas Ulbrich, the Board Member responsible for e-mobility at the Volkswagen brand. “As the world’s largest car manufacturer, Volkswagen is assuming responsibility: The new ID. will be the Group’s first climate-neutrally produced electric car. To ensure that it remains emission free during its life cycle, we are working on many different ways to use green power. Truly sustainable mobility is feasible if we all want it and we all work on it.”

For the ID, Volkswagen has focused the entire value chain on the goal of avoiding and reducing CO2 emission. The battery cells will be produced in Europe and the energy will come from green power sources. More savings potential in the supply chain that extends all the way back to raw material production is being examined with the help of direct and indirect suppliers, it says. The plant in Zwickau is already using externally produced power from renewable sources. Unavoidable emissions in the manufacturing process are offset by investments in certified climate projects. As a result, the ID will be manufactured CO2 neutral right from the start.

For charging, Volkswagen recommends the use of energy from renewable sources like wind power and hydro-power. The new Volkswagen subsidiary Elli has recently begun to offer regeneratively produced electricity called Volkswagen Naturstrom. The IONITY fast-charging network created by Volkswagen and other car manufacturers will offer green power at about 400 charging locations on European motorways – wherever available.

Volkswagen says it wants to make the electric car attractive and affordable for as many people as possible. The compact ID will roll off the assembly line in Zwickau starting in late 2019. The SUV ID CROZZ1, the ID BUZZ1 and the sedan ID VIZZION1 will follow soon thereafter. The Volkswagen brand alone plans to invest about EUR9bn in e-mobility by 2023.

Some reports also suggest that VW is communicating its carbon emission goals with suppliers and stressing their importance through the supply chain.

The Financial Times reported that VW plans to begin giving its suppliers ‘S-ratings’, for sustainability, and that suppliers who do not reach a required standard will be dropped.