Volkswagen of America, Inc. revealed further plans in its holistic approach to e-mobility at the Management Briefing Seminar, hosted by the Center for Automotive Research.
Starting with the launch of the 2015 e-Golf model, Volkswagen said it will invest in carbon reduction projects to offset emissions created from e-Golf production, distribution and up to approximately 36,000 miles of driving.
This program is similar in mindset to the one launched by Audi and known as Audi energy.
Volkswagen, like Audi, named SunPower as the official solar energy partner power provider.
Through these innovative collaborations, Volkswagen believes it will be one of the first high-volume manufacturers to deliver a truly holistic approach to ultra-low-carbon mobility.
The 2015 e-Golf will go on sale later this year at participating dealerships in select states.
To help determine its carbon offset projects, Volkswagen announced it has teamed with 3Degrees, a renewable energy and carbon offset services provider. The partnership brings new meaning to the idea of an ultra-low carbon car. By investing in carbon reduction programs, Volkswagen said it will offset the e-Golf’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that result from its production, distribution and from the estimated emissions produced from keeping the vehicle charged through the initial 36,000 miles of the vehicle’s life.
Volkswagen of America stated it chose to include carbon reduction efforts in California and in Texas with projects geared towards forestry conservation and landfill gas capture.
“Volkswagen feels it is important to look beyond the benefits of driving a vehicle without tailpipe emissions and to take a holistic approach to e-mobility,” said Oliver Schmidt, general manager, environment and engineering office, Volkswagen Group of America. “We now have the ability to offer offsets that approximate the emissions created from production, distribution and the initial 36,000 miles of use.”
Volkswagen-supported projects include, as listed by VW:
Garcia River Forestry Project
The Garcia River Conservation-Based Forest Management Project, located in Mendocino County, Calif., protects and preserves a 24,000-acre native redwood forest, increasing carbon sequestration and storage, while also helping to restore the natural wildlife habitat. Emission reductions produced by the project are verified by an approved third party and registered with the Climate Action Reserve. More information on the project can be found at: http://www.conservationfund.org/projects/garcia-river-forest/
Big River and Salmon Creek Forests
The Big River and Salmon Creek Forests, located in Mendocino County, Calif., were subject historically to land fragmentation and unsustainable logging practices. In an effort to protect the native redwood and Douglas fir forest, the land is now protected through a 16,000-acre land purchase, which was funded in part by the carbon offsets it offers to organizations like Volkswagen. Emission reductions produced by the project are verified by an approved third party and registered with the Climate Action Reserve. More information on the project can be found at: http://www.conservationfund.org/projects/big-river-and-salmon-creek-forests/
The McKinney Landfill project, based at a closed landfill in McKinney, Texas, works to capture gases that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere from anaerobic decomposition within the landfill. Benefits from the capture include odor reduction, improved water quality and future distributed renewable energy production. The sale of carbon offsets supports the gas collection and flaring project. The emission reductions are validated, verified and registered using the Climate Action Reserve’s Landfill Project Protocol. More information on the project can be found at: http://www.3degreesinc.com/projects/carbon-offset-projects/mckinney
“Volkswagen is showing leadership by including carbon offsets standard with this e-Golf electric vehicle,” said Steve McDougal, President of 3Degrees. “As more people choose low and no emission cars, Volkswagen is making it possible – and easy – to think comprehensively about the greenhouse gas emissions profile of a vehicle.”
As part of Volkswagen’s efforts to deliver an ultra-low-carbon car, the company said it is working with SunPower to provide qualified U.S. Volkswagen e-Golf customers the opportunity to install a high performance SunPower solar system. This residential SunPower system can help customers save on annual household electricity costs as well as power their electric vehicle, reducing overall cost of ownership.
“Investing in a residential SunPower solar system is a reliable, cost-effective way for Volkswagen customers to help manage household electricity costs and charge their electric vehicle with emissions-free energy,” said Tom Werner, president and CEO of SunPower. “Partnering with Volkswagen is a natural fit for SunPower, given our shared passion for delivering innovative, alternative energy solutions that help customers power their lives sustainably, and for the long term.”
VW also recently announced that Bosch Automotive Service Solutions will serve as a charging station and installation services partner for the e-Golf. Bosch will provide a 240-volt charging unit, the Power Max charging station, as well as full-service installation for qualified e-Golf drivers.
Additionally, Volkswagen said it has selected ChargePoint to complete the driver experience by providing all authorized e-Golf dealerships with VW-branded charging stations and by giving e-Golf drivers access to the largest network of public EV charging stations. As a result, e-Golf drivers will have access to over 18,000 ChargePoint stations around the U.S., in addition to those stations installed at authorized VW dealerships. All e-Golf drivers will also get access to the ChargePoint mobile app, which will help them navigate to ChargePoint stations, see real-time status updates relating to ChargePoint stations and start charging sessions.