Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess has called for a more rapid increase in the price of carbon dioxide, an earlier phaseout of coal, and a bigger growth of renewable energy sources. After Germany’s general elections on September 26, Diess published a series of proposals for the incoming administration in a series of tweets on the social media platform Twitter. In the coalition discussions, the fact that climate policy measures, as well as modernization and digitalisation, are high on the agenda provides a strong starting point.
When asked about his demands, Diess listed ten points, which included a CO2 price of 65 euros per tonne by as early as 2024, an end to fossil fuel subsidies and an earlier phase-out of coal, an increase in renewables to at least 255 gigatonnes by 2030, and an accelerated grid expansion to achieve “24/7 green electricity.”
In his article, Diess argues that “only real steps would promote decarbonisation.” He also advocated for a larger emphasis on electric vehicles for use as government vehicles, with the e-car purchase premium remaining at its current level but progressively decreasing until 2025. He went on to say that a major increase of charging infrastructure for automobiles and trucks, as well as obligatory fast charging objectives, are also required. Other recommendations included increasing the production of green hydrogen; providing funding for bicycles, e-bikes, and electrified car-sharing services to make cities more viable; making ridesharing as readily available as public transportation; immediately regulating fair and secure access to vehicle data to ensure vehicle and cybersecurity; and expanding 5G coverage across the board in order to promote autonomous driving and other emerging technologies.
Volkswagen has embarked on an ambitious overhaul in the aftermath of the diesel emissions crisis, which has left the business in shambles. Over the years, the automaker has embraced electric mobility more aggressively than any other major German automobile manufacturer.