Volkswagen Group’s CEO Oliver Blume reiterated the German company’s commitment to further developing electric vehicles at the Group’s annual media conference but said that tackling climate change can’t be done just by pushing more new EVs on the market.
Instead, the billions of internal combustion engine cars already on the road, plus the many more that will be manufactured from now on, will keep going for many years to come, so there’s also a need for synthetic fuels like e-fuels, which can potentially transform ICE vehicles into net-zero emissions means of transportation.
“When you look at the figures of Porsche, we have a clear commitment towards pushing e-mobility even further," Blume said on the matter of electrification, quoted by Autocar. "It will be the mobility of the future. E-mobility in the near future will be superior to all the ICEs available on the market, so that’s the end of that discussion.”
With this being said, VW Group’s chairman added that there are markets outside the European Union (where there’s an initiative to practically ban new non-zero-emissions cars from 2035) where switching to all-electric cars in a short time would be problematic. So as an alternative for these markets, Volkswagen is investing in e-fuels that could keep older cars on the roads without a big impact on the environment.
“If you look at climate protection as a whole – and this isn't only a matter for Europeans alone, it's a worldwide affair – you have to think of what will happen with the 1.3 billion ICEs which are currently available in the market, and that number will continue to grow. They will still be driven around for decades,” Oliver Blume noted.
“We have to do both simultaneously but separate the two markets in the discussion, because we're not competing with each other. You know, you can ramp up e-mobility in some regions and also take care of those regions that contribute to climate change. Some fuels are more inefficient than others, that's not a secret. But if you produce them in those regions of the world where sustainable energy is available without any limits, then this argument can't be used any longer.”
Last week we reported that the Volkswagen Group is planning to spend almost $200 billion on boosting its electric vehicle business, and with the recent launch of the ID.2All concept that will be transformed into an affordable mass-market EV, there’s no doubt that VW is committed to electrification. At the same time, back in 2022, Porsche opened its first e-fuels pilot facility in Chile, where water and carbon dioxide are used to create a substance that can power gasoline engines with very low carbon dioxide emissions.