VW Spending More to Produce Less (or Fewer—Emissions)

Gary S. Vasilash

With all of the exotic cars that made their debut at the Geneva Show last week, something got generally overlooked which is easily more significant than a car that can go from zero to sixty in less time than it takes to type “easily more significant than a car that can go from zero to sixty in less time than it takes to type. . . .”

Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, announced, “Volkswagen is committing to reducing the CO2 output of the European new car fleet to 95 grams per kilometer by 2020.” He went on to say, “That corresponds to a fuel consumption of less than four liters across all segments and vehicle classes.” He’s referring to 4 liters/100 km. “This is a Herculean task calling for the best efforts of all our 40,000 developers. We can do it.”

VW Golf Variant

This is the VW Golf Variant introduced at the Geneva Show. It is being offered with a 110-hp diesel and a six-speed manual, making it the most fuel-efficient wagon VW has ever had: its EC combined fuel economy is rated at 71.3 mph, which is equivalent to 87 grams CO2/km.

He believes they are well on their way because the company is aiming at a self-imposed target of <120 grams per kilometer across its new vehicle fleet by 2015.

And as of right now, there are 245 VW model variants that already meet that <120 grams metric, which is a 60% improvement compared with two years ago. What’s more, 36 offerings have emissions below 100 grams CO2/km.

VW is also working to make its 100 production facilities across the world 25% environmentally improved, taking into account things like energy and water consumption, waste production, and emissions.

The company is spending €50.2-billion by 2015 on improving the efficiency of technologies, powertrains, vehicles, and factories.