The German executive holds the highest position within the most important European automotive group. His visions on electrification and sustainability will be supported in the coming years by huge investments
Herbert Diess will lead Volkswagen towards a sustainable future. The executive, in office since April 2018, was confirmed at the top of the most important European automotive group. His visions on sustainability and electrification will be supported in the coming years by huge investments that will profoundly change the current production structure. The most ambitious plans are part of the Planning Round 70 project: transformation of the main European factories into global centers of excellence for electric cars. Assumptions that should allow Volkswagen to become a reference point for sustainability by 2025, with a product offer mainly focused on electrification. Not only that: in the medium term, as a car manufacturer, the group will change its structure into a provider of mobility services, strengthening its accumulator and computer software development divisions.
89 billion for Wolfsburg
The capital that Volkswagen will make available to realize the energy transition is huge. The head office will always remain in Wolfsburg, with profound changes: 89 billion euros will be invested exclusively for hybridization and electrification, projecting the historic plant towards a new dimension of production. Liquidity that will be used to expand the current proposal, with particular attention to digitalization, electric and connected mobility, mobility services. Diess believes it is essential to keep the headquarters stable in space, looking forward in time when in 2026, according to estimates, one in four vehicles sold by the brand will be fully electric. A growth in demand which in the medium and long term will be increasingly sensitive and which requires the right infrastructures to be satisfied. In this sense, two plants will be exclusively dedicated to the production of electric cars as well as a new research and development center that will focus exclusively on the search for mobility solutions for the future. The investment plan provides for a total sum of 159 billion (56% of which will be destined, as written, for electric mobility), most of them will be used to integrate fundamental components into production processes to make the energy transition, such as batteries. . Volkswagen’s plans remain the need to develop and build its own electric energy accumulators through the creation of a gigafactory.
Energy neutrality by 2050
Another key date is 2050, the time limit within which Volkswagen will have achieved complete energy neutrality. This means that every production aspect will have zero environmental impact. A goal that is much more extended over time than the product terms already set because it is inevitably more complex, given the energy supply needs required by a company whose production capacity is around 10 million vehicles per year. However, a first investment was recently made: 40 million euros were allocated to the creation of a wind farm in Sweden whose annual capacity is 100 GWh, sufficient to meet the needs of 27,000 families. This is the first sustainable electricity production project in Europe fully funded by an automotive group. A dimension, that of renewable energies, which in Wolfsburg’s plans will be further expanded in the future through the construction of additional wind and solar farms. The projects will have to develop a total of seven TWh of electricity to meet the energy needs of 600,000 households.
The publicly traded battery division?
Among the most interesting statements released by the reconfirmed CEO Herbert Diess, one concerns the battery division of the group. The will of the board of directors is to sell a part or to list a department that is actually strategic in order to face the energy transition. Having the knowledge in-house to develop and manufacture energy accumulators would allow Volkswagen to gain a very important competitive advantage. On the other hand, the investment demand is enormous and the support through the free market or the entry into the capital of new collaborators could allow the group to find new solutions without compromising economic stability. Even in this case, in fact, the figures involved are colossal: by the end of the decade the Volkswagen battery division is expected to generate sales of 20 billion euros. Furthermore, to meet the growing demand for accumulators, the construction of six new production plants is planned by 2030, also in this case with the intervention of European collaborators. The time available to satisfy all requests is not very long, the stakes are very high. The Volkswagen group has renewed its trust in Herbert Diess, who intends, also with the support of politics, to lead the car brand that symbolizes the European continent towards a zero-emission future.
9 December – 21:13
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