Volkswagen is opposed to the results of a study by the Ifo Institute, according to which electric cars should not be more climate-friendly than vehicles with internal combustion engines. VW expects that the carbon footprint of a battery-powered version today already significantly better than that of a corresponding model with internal combustion engine. In addition, the power variants offer a further high potential for savings in CO2 ) “in all phases of the product cycle”.
VW has studied the entire life cycle of several variants of the Golf with different drive technology . The result for the current TDI (diesel) is an average emission of 140 grams of CO 2 per kilometer driven, while the e-Golf reached a value of 119 grams of CO2. The electric car does not play its advantage until after more than 100,000 kilometers. Only after this mileage, the emission curves intersect and the bill falls from then on in favor of the E-Golf.
According to Volkswagen, it has become clear that the majority of greenhouse gas emissions occur during “the provision and combustion of fossil fuels” in vehicles with internal combustion engines. The diesel here reaches 111 grams of CO 2 / km. In contrast, a corresponding vehicle with electric drive emits 62 grams of CO 2 / km in this phase , which were derived solely from the power supply.
CO2 emissions decrease the more the more regenerative energy is available. In battery-powered electric vehicles, however, the focus of emissions is on production. A diesel comes here to 29 grams of CO2 / km, while the manufacturer for a comparable e-vehicle 57 grams CO2 / km determined. Responsible for this is the battery production and the elaborate extraction of the raw materials required for this purpose. This accounts for almost half of the CO2 emissions of the entire cycle.
Embedded in the internationally standardized procedure, which is used to determine the life cycle assessment of vehicles, are also the energy quantities that are required for the production of the rubber in the tires, said Marko Gernuks, who is responsible for the Lifecycle optimization at the Group, according to a report. It also has to be taken into account from which sources the energy comes from the place where the individual raw materials are obtained or where the processing steps are carried out.
The usage phase includes both the emissions of the fuel and electricity supply as well as the vehicle operation over 200,000 kilometers. Recycling involves dismantling and saving opportunities through recycling.
The authors of the Ifo study had previously come to the conclusion that e-cars even increased CO2 emissions. As soon as battery production and the German energy mix were included in the bill, an electric vehicle would burden the climate by 11 to 28 percent more than a diesel. That did not want to leave VW so.
Volkswagen assumes that lithium-ion battery technology can be further improved and the supply chain optimized. For example, the amount of CO2 used to make the batteries could potentially be reduced by more than 25 percent per kWh of battery capacity compared to that of e-Golf and planned future models. If renewable energies are used, the reduction potential amounts to 50 percent.
If the power to drive exclusively from regenerative sources won, the CO2 emissions according to VW during the use phase of 62 grams of CO2 / km in today’s EU electricity mix parallel sink to only two grams. The exploitation of the vehicle would provide further opportunities to reduce emissions through the circular economy. In this sense, a recycling pilot plant is currently being built at the Salzgitter site.