WOLFSBURG, GERMANY—The Volkswagen Group’s research and development expenditure rose by 15 per cent to the record value of EUR 10.2 billion (CAN$15.5 billion) in 2013.
“The lion’s share is going to green technologies,” said Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft.
“Last year, CO2 emissions by our EU new vehicle fleet averaged 128 grams/km. That means we are already well under the statutory threshold set for 2015.” said Winterkorn, who added there had been considerable progress in greening the production process.
He said the automaker’s reduced energy and water consumption, as well as CO2 emissions, has helped its factories get halfway to its declared 25 per cent more eco-friendliness by 2018.
Customers can currently choose between 54 model variants from Volkswagen Group brands that emit less than 100 grams CO2/km. 324 model variants are below 120 grams.
The range includes 3-litre cars such as the Golf TDI BlueMotion1 or the Audi A3 TDI ultra2.
The Group’s modular strategy in production means that it will be possible to electrify more than 40 models over the next few years.
The environmental strategy of the Group means the high sustainability requirements of the Group are now a firm component of contracts with suppliers. Volkswagen is also the first German automaker to have joined the Clean Shipping Network in order to analyze and reduce the environmental impact of marine transport.