VW to become an energy supplier
Volkswagen has set up a clean power mobility division as it makes efforts to distance itself from the infamous emissions cheating scandal.
Volkswagen has established a new subsidiary, known as Elli Group, that will supply a suite of energy and electric vehicle charging solutions as part of its parent company’s drive to embrace sustainable transport.
In a statement, Thomas Ulbrich, the Volkswagen brand Board Member responsible for E-Mobility, promised that the auto giant ‘is going to force the pace of the urgently needed transport and energy transition to emission-neutral e-mobility.’
The Berlin-headquartered Elli will gradually build up a portfolio of intelligent power tariffs and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, as well as an IT-based energy management system. The company has also promised to source and supply 100% renewable power to private households with or without an EV.
Customers with electric cars will also be offered a variety of ‘Wallbox’ charging units, as well as energy systems that allow their vehicles to be used as energy storage systems. Households with rooftop solar panels will be able to store generated power in their cars or feed it back to the grid to earn money.
Finally, Elli’s energy management system will be designed to help customers decide how to use their stored and generated power. As not all EVs will be charged at the same time, the company believes the burden on the power grid will be reduced while optimising energy costs for household use and mobility.
Meanwhile, Elli is looking to expand its out-of-home network of EV charging stations. It also plans to create a digital payment system that utilises a charging card and tailored tariffs.
‘Our mission is to take e-mobility out of its niche and to place it firmly in the mainstream,’ said Thorsten Nicklaß, designated CEO of Elli. ‘The name Elli stands for ‘electric life’, because we intend to enable a lifestyle that fully integrates the electric car in people’s everyday lives.’
Volkswagen’s EV initiatives come almost four years after the company became embroiled in the ‘dieselgate’ emissions cheating scandal.
In 2015, it emerged that the company had been tricking environmental regulators worldwide by using software that suppressed emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) during trials. In real-world driving conditions, the group’s cars were emitting up to 40 times more NOx than in the testing environment. Last June, Volkswagen agreed to pay a €1bn fine in Germany, saying it accepted responsibility for its wrongdoing.