SHANGHAI – Once the mission of Volkswagen Group was to put China on wheels, now its mission is to electrify China and put it on sustainable mobility.
That was the message at the 2nd China International Import Expo (CIIE), where Volkswagen Group China along with three Group brands – Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche – as well as Mobility Asia, its subsidiary for smart mobility solutions, showcased its NEV strategy with an electrified lineup of six models, enhanced Group R&D capabilities and smart mobility ecosystem initiatives.
All with one goal: to be net carbon neutral by 2050, a worldwide Group target announced earlier this year.
“We have electrified the CIIE, underlining our e-mobility efforts in China. By the end of 2019, we plan to offer 14 NEV models – with six of them already displayed here,” said Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China at a press conference on November 5. “Meanwhile, through enhanced Group R&D capabilities and strengthened smart mobility eco-systems, we continue to increase our efforts in supporting China’s shift to a more sustainable future. By 2050, we strive to be fully net carbon neutral.”
Volkswagen Group China’s “goTOzero” initiative is paving the way to reach this goal. By 2025, electric models will represent up to 35 percent of the model portfolio and CO2 emissions from the cars will be reduced by 30 percent over their lifecycle compared to 2015. Also by 2025, Chinese factories will produce 30 percent less waste, use 30 percent less energy and water by vehicle, and will emit 30 percent less CO2 overall compared to 2015.
In total, around 30 NEV models will be locally-produced in China by Volkswagen Group brands by 2025, including up to 15 MEB models.
To support turning this vision into reality, Group R&D power is being enhanced, by bringing together more than 4,500 R&D experts and combining competencies from Audi and Volkswagen Brand R&D teams to achieve greater R&D productivity, tailor-made market solutions, brand specific experiences for customers and a reduced time to market. Strategically, Group R&D China will focus on five fields: automated driving and intelligent connected vehicles, fuel efficiency in next generation combustion engines, NEV energy efficiency and safety, connectivity and digitalization as well as innovation and design.
“In this dynamic market, Group R&D China combines competencies from Audi, Volkswagen Brand and the Group, creating synergies for developing tailor-made, China-focused solutions and in future, for global customers,” said Dr. Thomas Manfred Müller, executive vice president of Volkswagen Group China responsible for R&D and head of Audi China R&D. “At the heart of all these, is our commitment to our Chinese customers for future sustainable mobility.”
To further support this goal, Mobility Asia is working hard to provide a connected lifestyle, enhancing every moment of customers’ mobility experience through synergies of mobility infrastructure, vehicles and services. With advanced technologies such as the Mobility AI Assistant and Smart Location Based Services, Mobility Asia is redefining the understanding of what mobility will be in the future, gradually connect smart mobility with other smart services, providing users with connected mobility solutions and making sustainable mobility more convenient, smooth and realistic, based on real data from local environments. At CIIE 2019, Mobility Asia showcased for the first time its thoroughly human oriented future mobility solutions, illustrating scenarios including smart dating, smart travel, smart community and smart education.
“As a company we are not just looking into producing and selling cars, we want to go beyond that. We share with our customers the entire journey that they possess their cars and connect them with three ecosystems,” said Weiming Soh, executive vice president of Volkswagen Group China and head of Group Business Development & Partner Strategy as well as CEO of Mobility Asia. “The first ecosystem is infrastructure like charging and parking, the second ecosystem is mobility like ride-hailing and car sharing and the last ecosystem is content.”
Audi showcased its commitment of being “Consistently electric” – as one of four strategic pillars towards future mobility of the Four Rings. The Audi e-tron is the first fully-electric model and presents the brand’s first step in e-mobility. The imported model will officially hit the Chinese market on November 18 along with the Q2 L e-tron, Audi’s first locally-produced fully-electric model. Together with FAW-Volkswagen, Audi will have launched nine NEV models in China by 2021, more than half of them will be fully electric. Audi is also further expanding its model portfolio of hybrid models. By 2025, the Four Rings will electrify all segments.
“We are using synergies such as joint electric platforms inside the Volkswagen Group, and working together as one Audi Team with our local partners here in China,” said Gaby-Luise Wüst, president of Audi China. “Audi in China is committing to being consistently sustainable. Our goal is to bring the CO2 emissions of our Chinese production sites to zero by 2030 together with our partners.”
Volkswagen Group’s namesake brand celebrated the introduction of its all-new brand design and logo in China at an event held on October 31 in Guangzhou with a new brand purpose: “on the way to emission-free mobility for all.” This purpose comes with loads of new products. The current portfolio of five NEV versions of existing models will grow to 10 by the end of 2020. From 2020, another 10 models based on the electric only MEB platform will follow within three years. The first production model for China is the ID.First (Chujian), which rolled off at SAIC-VOLKSWAGEN’s new MEB factory in Anting on a trial basis on November 8, before official production starts in October 2020. The ID.3, which began production at the Zwickau plant on November 4, will follow later as a locally-produced model from SAIC-VOLKSWAGEN .
By 2025, the Volkswagen brand will produce 1 million MEB-based electric cars annually across the world, two-thirds of which will be produced in China, fully utilizing the annual output capacity of the Anting MEB plant as well as FAW-Volkswagen’s Foshan MEB plant, which have a combined annual output capacity of 600,000 units.
Porsche showcased its first fully-electric sports car, the Taycan; three-times Le Mans winner, the 919 Hybrid; and the Cayenne E-Hybrid, that all tie in with the brand’s mantra, “Soul, Electrified.” The electric powertrain is embedded deep in the Porsche DNA, with the company’s founder – Dr. Ferdinand Porsche – creating the world’s first functionally operational fully-hybrid vehicle more than a century ago. By 2025, half of all sales from the Porsche product range will be from electrically or partially electrically driven plug-in hybrid models.
“Porsche is committed to becoming a technological pioneer in the electrification era,” said Dr. -Ing. Jens Puttfarcken, president & CEO of Porsche China. “We now want to drive emission-free into the future. Porsche Digital China, established in April this year, and Porsche Engineering (Shanghai), are focused on the local needs of Chinese customers. Our goal is to provide tailor-made digital solutions for the Chinese market.
Porsche China has so far received more than 2,000 orders for the Taycan and by mid-2020 80 percent of Porsche Centres in China will be equipped with the 2.7-metre-tall High Power Charger that can charge a Taycan from 5 to 80 percent in half an hour.