Volkswagen Group to become provider of e-mobility energy offerings
The Volkswagen Group is establishing a group company for energy offerings and charging solutions, according to an official release. Elli Group GmbH, with headquarters in Berlin, is to develop products and services connected with energy and charging for the brands of the Group, “underlining its strategic goal of becoming a leading provider of sustainable mobility”.
Thomas Ulbrich, Volkswagen brand Board Member responsible for E-Mobility said: “As one of the world’s largest automakers, Volkswagen is going to force the pace of the urgently needed transport and energy transition to emission-neutral e-mobility. The new company will play its part with energy offerings from renewable sources and smart charging solutions. This way, we are entering a strategically relevant, extremely exciting business area that offers considerable opportunities for strengthening ties with existing customers as well as accessing entirely new customer groups.”
Thorsten Nicklaß, designated CEO of Elli, announced that the new Volkswagen Group company would also offer to customers outside the Group green power from renewable sources that was 100 percent CO2-neutral. Nicklaß, formerly CEO of the Digital Energy Solutions joint venture, said: “Our mission is to take e-mobility out of its niche and to place it firmly in the mainstream. 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. This approach could be compared with the use of a mobile phone, which is taken for granted nowadays.”
The company will gradually be building up a portfolio of intelligent power tariffs, Wallboxes and charging stations as well as an IT-based energy management system. Nicklaß explained: “We will be creating a seamless, sustainable ecosystem that addresses the main applications and provides answers to all the energy questions raised by electric car users and fleet operators.”
Up to the market launch of the Volkswagen ID., the first model based on the modular electric toolkit (MEB) in 2020, the company will successively roll out a large number of solutions that private and commercial e-mobility customers need now and in the future – ranging from hardware to charging, additional digital services and complete advice packages.
Renault to invest €1bn in manufacturing and researching EVs
A brief overview of the business areas in which Elli is active:
@home – charging at home: green power
In future, customers will not only meet Volkswagen in dealerships and in their vehicles but also in their homes, where half of all electric car owners charge their vehicles. The services available will include green power for private households with and without an electric vehicle. Details of the first tariff models will be announced by the Group in the near future. The power offered will be Volkswagen Naturstrom® generated in a CO2-free way. 100% of this power comes from renewable sources such as hydropower plants and its origin has been certified by TÜV.
@home – charging at home: Wallbox
Customers will be able to choose between a variety of Wallbox variants for safe, rapid and convenient charging at home. The low-cost 11 kW AC Wallbox is suitable for overnight charging, a procedure that protects the battery. Full charging will take between five and eight hours. The comfort version also operates with 11 kW but also offers connectivity via attractive payment arrangements and update options.
@home – charging at home: Smart energy management and photovoltaics
A high-end DC charging station with 22 kW can make the electric car an energy storage system and part of the smart grid of the future thanks to bidirectional charging and connection to an energy management system. It will be possible to store power generated by customers’ photovoltaic systems in the car and to use it later in the household – or to feed it to the power grid in order to earn revenue. Of course, stationary battery storage will also play a key role in this context in the future. An energy management system will then decide in accordance with instructions received from the owner which type of energy is to be used when, at what price and for what purpose. As not all electric cars will be charged at the same time, the burden on the power grid will be reduced at the same time as optimizing energy costs for household use and mobility.
@destination – charging at the destination: employee parking spaces and Volkswagen partners
With Elli, Volkswagen will also be intensively involved in charging at destinations such as company car parks and dealerships. Initially, this will include the expansion of charging stations at Volkswagen’s own employee car parks from 1,000 today to more than 5,000 by 2020 and the equipment of all 4,000 dealers and service partners in the EU with several charging possibilities, also by 2020.
@destination – charging at the destination: fleet customers and chain outlets
In fleet business, Elli will provide support to the Group brands in connection with the changeover of their customers’ fleets to e-mobility. Companies without a car fleet will also be able to access , advice on the topics of energy and charging infrastructure, especially with respect to installation, operation and maintenance. Elli is in discussions concerning cooperation for the installation of charging stations at customer car parks of major chains.
Charging on the road
Finally, as a mobile service provider, Elli will also make charging in public spaces a thoroughly positive experience thanks to convenient digital payment using a charging card with tailor-made tariffs.
Carbon dioxide removal revenues worth £2bn a year by 2030
Carbon dioxide removal revenues could reach £2bn a year by 2030 in the UK with costs per megatonne totalling up to £400 million, according to the National Infrastructure Commission.
Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades - although costs are uncertain given removal technologies are in their infancy - and revenues could match that of the UK’s water sector by 2050. The Commission’s analysis suggests engineered removals technologies need to have capacity to remove five to ten megatonnes of carbon dioxide no later than 2030, and between 40 and 100 megatonnes by 2050.
The Commission states technologies fit into two categories: extracting carbon dioxide directly out of the air; and bioenergy with carbon capture technology – processing biomass to recapture carbon dioxide absorbed as the fuel grew. In both cases, the captured CO2 is then stored permanently out of the atmosphere, typically under the seabed.
The report sets out how the engineered removal and storage of carbon dioxide offers the most realistic way to mitigate the final slice of emissions expected to remain by the 2040s from sources that don’t currently have a decarbonisation solution, like aviation and agriculture.
It stresses that the potential of these technologies is “not an excuse to delay necessary action elsewhere” and cannot replace efforts to reduce emissions from sectors like road transport or power, where removals would be a more expensive alternative.
The critical role these technologies will play in meeting climate targets means government must rapidly kick start the sector so that it becomes viable by the 2030s, according to the report, which was commissioned by government in November 2020.
Early movement by the UK to develop the expertise and capacity in greenhouse gas removal technologies could create a comparative advantage, with the prospect of other countries needing to procure the knowledge and skills the UK develops.
The Commission recommends that government should support the development of this new sector in the short term with policies that drive delivery of these technologies and create demand through obligations on polluting industries, which will over time enable a competitive market to develop. Robust independent regulation must also be put in place from the start to help build public and investor confidence.
While the burden of these costs could be shared by different parts of industries required to pay for removals or in part shared with government, the report acknowledges that, over the longer term, the aim should be to have polluting sectors pay for removals they need to reach carbon targets.
Polluting industries are likely to pass a proportion of the costs onto consumers. While those with bigger household expenditures will pay more than those on lower incomes, the report underlines that government will need to identify ways of protecting vulnerable consumers and to decide where in relevant industry supply chains the costs should fall.
Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, said taking steps to clean our air is something we’re going to have to get used to, just as we already manage our wastewater and household refuse.
"While engineered removals will not be everyone’s favourite device in the toolkit, they are there for the hardest jobs. And in the overall project of mitigating our impact on the planet for the sake of generations to come, we need every tool we can find," he said.
“But to get close to having the sector operating where and when we need it to, the government needs to get ahead of the game now. The adaptive approach to market building we recommend will create the best environment for emerging technologies to develop quickly and show their worth, avoiding the need for government to pick winners. We know from the dramatic fall in the cost of renewables that this approach works and we must apply the lessons learned to this novel, but necessary, technology.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Agency estimate a global capacity for engineered removals of 2,000 to 16,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2050 will be needed in order to meet global reduction targets.
Yesterday Summit Carbon Solutions received "a strategic investment" from John Deere to advance a major CCUS project (click here). The project will accelerate decarbonisation efforts across the agriculture industry by enabling the production of low carbon ethanol, resulting in the production of more sustainable food, feed, and fuel. Summit Carbon Solutions has partnered with 31 biorefineries across the Midwest United States to capture and permanently sequester their CO2 emissions.
Cory Reed, President, Agriculture & Turf Division of John Deere, said: "Carbon neutral ethanol would have a positive impact on the environment and bolster the long-term sustainability of the agriculture industry. The work Summit Carbon Solutions is doing will be critical in delivering on these goals."
McKinsey highlights a number of CCUS methods which can drive CO2 to net zero:
- Today’s leader: Enhanced oil recovery Among CO2 uses by industry, enhanced oil recovery leads the field. It accounts for around 90 percent of all CO2 usage today
- Cementing in CO2 for the ages New processes could lock up CO2 permanently in concrete, “storing” CO2 in buildings, sidewalks, or anywhere else concrete is used
- Carbon neutral fuel for jets Technically, CO2 could be used to create virtually any type of fuel. Through a chemical reaction, CO2 captured from industry can be combined with hydrogen to create synthetic gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel
- Capturing CO2 from ambient air - anywhere Direct air capture (DAC) could push CO2 emissions into negative territory in a big way
- The biomass-energy cycle: CO2 neutral or even negative Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage relies on nature to remove CO2 from the atmosphere for use elsewhere