Volkswagen To Slash Shipping Emissions. Electrify America Debuts Home Charging Portal

As part of its commitment to building zero emissions cars, Volkswagen is working to cut emissions from its manufacturing and distribution activities. It plans to be carbon neutral in all its operations worldwide by 2050, which includes using more renewable energy at its manufacturing facilities and slashing carbon emission in the transportation network it uses to get its cars and trucks to market.

Volkswagen ships cars by train
Credit: Volkswagen

Recently, it completed the first shipment of cars to North America aboard a ship that uses compressed natural gas for fuel instead of oil. Volkswagen has placed two of those vessels into service to ferry its cars to market. The LNG powered vessels have 25% lower carbon emissions, 30% less nitrogen oxide emissions, 60% fewer fine particulates, and no sulfur oxide emissions.

In Europe, Volkswagen relies on trains to bring raw materials to its factories and to distribute finished vehicles to its customers. On average, 38 long distance and 157 local trains a day deliver materials to its factories and transport finished vehicles to 40 interim storage facilities, distribution centers and ports.

Volkswagen Group announced this week all trains operated for the company by Deutsche Bahn within Germany will use only renewable electricity as of January, 2021. This will eliminate 26,700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year compared to the conventional electricity mix. In addition, Volkswagen will increase vehicle transportation by train from 53% today to 60% by 2022.

“With this green electricity offensive, we are making an important contribution towards Group decarbonization,” says Thomas Zernechel, head of logistics for Volkswagen Group. “No car maker in Europe transports more freight by rail using renewable electric power than Volkswagen. In addition to our electric vehicle production having a carbon neutral footprint, this is a further element in being able, for instance, to hand vehicles from the Volkswagen ID range to customers without any CO2 baggage.”

Sigrid Evelyn Nikutta, director of freight transportation and head of the board of directors for Deutsche Bahn says, “Each ton being transported by rail automatically reduces CO2 emissions by 80%. By making this switch, Volkswagen is sending out a strong signal and giving its backing to 100% green transportation with no CO2 emissions. That pleases us as DB Cargo and will please our environment even more.”

When it comes to taking action to decrease its carbon footprint, Volkswagen is not only talking the talk, it is actually walking the walk. Too many corporations make flowery promises but actually do little to make those promises a reality.

Electrify America Launches Electrify Home Division


Electrify America home charger
Credit: Electrify America

Electrify America has created a new division to supply home charging products to residential customers as part of the company’s mission to make charging electric cars as convenient as possible. Check out the Electrify Home tab now located on the EA website. Here, online customers can purchase a home charger and arrange to have it installed using just a few mouse clicks. What could be simpler than that? The EA charger can be installed outdoors, comes with a 24.6 foot long charging cable, and plugs into a standard 240 volt clothes dryer outlet. It comes with a 3 year warranty and 24/7 technical support.

Nina Huesgen, head of home and eCommerce at Electrify America, says, “Right now, about 80% of electric vehicle charging is done at home. With the launch of Electrify Home, we’re providing flexible and forward thinking home charging solutions for EV drivers of today and tomorrow. EV drivers need more charging options to feel truly independent and confident in their decision to go electric, which is why Electrify America has expanded its focus to create a connected and smart home charging ecosystem. We look forward to using the Electrify Home platform to expand our offerings in the home charging space, as we develop new product lines and services that will help further streamline EV ownership.”

Electrify America says it will continue to grow its public network of ultra-fast EV chargers with a goal to install or have under development approximately 800 total charging station sites with about 3,500 chargers by December 2021. As we reported in June, today you can drive from Washington, DC to southern California using the Electrify America network. Soon other cross country trips will be possible as well, as Electrify America continues to expand its network. Electrify America is also partnering with manufacturers of electric cars like KIA and Ford to provide high power charging for their customers.

Yes, it was created as part of Volkswagen’s settlement with federal and state officials over claims arising from its horrific diesel cheating scandal but let’s give it a little love. Do you see GM, or Ford, or Dodge building their own charging networks? They have always relied on someone else — usually taxpayers — to do the heavy lifting. While the roots of Electrify America are buried in scandal, at least Volkswagen is doing what needs to be done now to move the EV revolution forward in ways that other manufacturers have elected not to.

Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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