As the world knows by now, Volkswagen Group’s big focus for the decade is to surf a big wave in the fast-growing electric vehicle market. It intends to have 25% of its 2025 sales coming from 100% electric vehicles. Audi has been a top pace setter for Volkswagen Group, with the Audi e-tron being the 4th best selling plug-in vehicle in Europe in the first 5 months of the year, right behind its Volkswagen e-Golf cousin. Furthermore, it is by far the best selling EV in its class (see link above) and by far the best selling vehicle in the most mature EV market in the world, Norway.
Further demonstrating the electrification story it wants the world to see, Audi is putting electric car charging stations around the FC Bayern Munich training grounds.
Last week, “Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Chairman of the Executive Board of FC Bayern München AG, Oliver Kahn, Member of the Executive Board of FC Bayern München AG, and Audi Board Member for Sales Hildegard Wortmann gave the go-ahead for the construction of 38 charging points.”
The branding push is significantly bigger than this, though. The world famous Bayern Munich players will drive the Audi e-tron to games. More than half of the team’s fleet will switch to e-trons.
“The charging points are to go online in late summer – just in time for the start of the next Bundesliga season, from which point the professional soccer players of FC Bayern will be driving the Audi e-tron, the brand’s first fully electric SUV. The record-holding players and their team will be able to charge their future electric cars with up to 150 kilowatts in the underground garage at the home of FC Bayern on Säbener Strasse.”
Audi and Bayern Munich have a partnership that goes till 2029. No doubt, Audi is going to milk that for all it can in its quest to be reimagined as a leading EV brand. “In the next few years, both partners want to work together strategically on innovative marketing campaigns and electrification in particular,” Audi states.
On the flip side, the electrification of so many Bayern Munich vehicles means it will meet key sustainability goals it has set for itself, with fleet emissions going below 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
Naturally, all of the electric fun won’t only be for Bayern Munich players and staff. Audi also plans to electrify Allianz Arena in Munich with its own influx of charging points in order to give fans and other visitors (you know — the less welcome kind) more opportunities to charge as well.
This is not a groundbreaking, earth-shattering program. We’re not talking about tens of thousands of charging stations. But it’s a notable effort nonetheless, and the largest benefit of it is probably not in the team’s lower-emission transportation, but in the enormous awareness raising and positive messaging that comes from this. I’ve said for years — and I still think it’s the case — that the #1 barrier to faster EV adoption is consumer awareness. It’s too low. This is another major step raising it up, and it’s honestly hard to think of anything better than sports for broad, positive awareness raising.
The only thing that I can imagine would be better is if Volkswagen provided the ID.Buzz for the team! But I guess the deal is with Audi, and production of the ID.Buzz is still a ways out.
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