12 Mar 2019, 13:51
Sören Amelang

VW accelerates electric push; green NGOs call plan “game changer for industry”

Volkswagen is accelerating its rollout of zero-emission cars by launching almost 70 new electric models by 2028 - but warned the aggressive push will force it to cut jobs. The company said it had previously planned to launch 50 models in the next ten years. “As a result, the projected number of vehicles to be built on the Group’s electric platforms in the next decade will increase from 15 million to 22 million.” The company also affirmed its target to become fully CO2-neutral by 2050. “The 2025 target is to reduce the CO2 footprint of the vehicle fleet by 30 percent across the lifecycle compared to 2015 […] At the same time, CO2 emissions at all plants are to be cut 50 percent by 2025 compared with 2010,” VW said. “The share of electric vehicles in the Group fleet is to rise to at least 40 percent by 2030.”

Europe’s federation of green mobility NGOs Transport & Enivornment (T&E) called the VW announcement “a game changer for the automotive industry."

“This is the first credible climate plan by a major automaker,” said T&E executive director William Todts.

VW also said the electric offensive will cost jobs. “The reality is that building an electric car involves some 30 percent less effort than one powered by an internal combustion engine,” chief executive Herbert Diess explained at the company’s annual results press conference, according to a Reuters report by Edward Taylor. “That means we need to make job cuts.” Profit margins at the core VW brand slipped due to higher investments into electric cars and challenges getting combustion-engine vehicles certified, VW said.

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