Volkswagen e-up!

Volkswagen is getting greener, much greener — “Our declared goal is to make Volkswagen the leading automaker in ecological terms,” according to Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Volkswagen Group Board of Management.

After being lobbied to cut emissions, by groups like Greenpeace, Volkswagen will now be devoting more than two-thirds of its $82 billion investment program in advancements of vehicle efficiency, and the development of a more environmentally “compatible” production cycle, over the next five years.

Currently, the European Union holds the amount of g CO2/km that can be produced by a car at 130 for 2012 and onwards. The industry average in 2011 was it 136.1 g CO2/km and Volkswagen then made the cut at 135.5 g/km.

With the new directives as a catalyst, VW has plans to make all new vehicles at or below 120 g CO2/km by 2015; this restructuring will include the life cycle production of each new vehicle and is estimated to be worth more than $52 billion by 2016. In a related announcement, the company is also starting a new $790 million investment to advance Volkswagen’s usage of solar, wind, and hydroelectricity power (with the aim to achieve a 40% reduction in energy supply emissions by the end of the decade).

To start the change with full force, 2013 will prove to be the year of “e-mobility,” with the release of the “e-up!” product line (photo above). This new line will feature partly or fully electric vehicle iterations of many models and will be run solely by the new brands.  (more…)