Audi is partnering with energy providers to support the expansion of renewable energy sources, according to a June 17 press release.
Audi will work with different partners to build new wind and solar farms in various European countries by 2025, which together are expected to generate around five terawatt hours of additional green power. This corresponds to an installed capacity of about 250 new wind turbines.
The aim is for the proportion of electricity generated from renewable sources by the cooperation partners to increase along with the increasing share of electric cars. The first project, a solar park in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, is being developed in collaboration with the German utility company RWE. The plant will come on stream in 2022 and is designed for a total capacity of 170 million kilowatt hours. Encompassing nearly 420,000 solar panels, it will be one of the largest independent solar parks in Germany. Further projects are to quickly follow.
Partnering with energy providers is the next step in achieving the company’s vision of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. To this end, Audi is examining the entire life cycle of its models, which in professional circles is divided into three stages: the manufacturing stage (starting with the extraction of raw materials through component manufacturing and automobile production), the usage stage (vehicle operation including the supply of fuel or electricity), and recycling. As an intermediate goal, Audi aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its fleet by 30% over its lifecycle by 2025. By partnering with European energy suppliers, Audi strives decarbonize the usage stage.
One of the most important factors with electric cars is the power used to charge them. Electric cars do not emit carbon on the road, but electricity generation also produces carbon emissions – far more when the power is generated from fossil fuels than from renewable energy sources. That’s why Audi will soon fund the generation of renewable electricity. Its partnership with energy suppliers will also cover charging processes that aren’t yet carried out with green power today.