28 Sep 2021, 13:40
Edgar Meza

Following election, VW CEO calls for faster CO2 price increase, earlier coal exit

Clean Energy Wire

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess is calling for a faster increase in the CO2 price, an earlier coal phaseout and a greater expansion of renewables. The day after the September 26 general elections in Germany, Diess, writing on Twitter, made a number of recommendations for the next government. “The fact that climate policy reforms and modernisation and digitisation are high on the agenda is a good basis for the coalition negotiations." Diess then listed ten demands, including a CO2 price of 65 euros per tonne as early as 2024; an end to fossil fuel subsidies and an earlier coal exit; an expansion of renewables to at least 255 GW by 2030 and an accelerated grid expansion to achieve “24/7 green electricity.” “Only tangible measures will advance decarbonisation,” Diess wrote. He also called for a greater focus on electric vehicles for use as government cars, maintaining the e-car purchase premium and gradually reducing it until 2025. A massive expansion of charging infrastructure for cars and trucks and mandatory fast charging targets are also needed, he added. Other recommendations included the increased production of green hydrogen; funding for bicycles, e-bikes and electrified car-sharing services to make cities more viable and making ridepooling as available as public transport; the immediate regulation of fair and secure access to vehicle data to ensure vehicle and cybersecurity; and the expansion of 5G across the board in order to promote autonomous driving.

VW has initiated an ambitious transformation in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal that left the company reeling. The carmaker has since embraced electric mobility more vigorously than any other major German auto company.

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