Time for the mobility of the future.
Our planet will get warmer, fossil fuels dwindle, cities fill up. To face this, we're rethinking mobility at Volkswagen.
Excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can have grave consequences. It’s partly caused by increasing car traffic.
Researchers estimate that by 2100, average temperatures on earth will have risen by between 1.8 and 4 .0 degrees. That might not sound like much, but the fall-out is devastating: melting glaciers raise the sea level, deserts expand, extreme weather events become more frequent. One source of global warming is the rising proportion of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Traffic plays a critical part: it’s responsible for one tenth of all CO2 emissions. In 2030 there will be more than eight billion people in the world, and 1.2 billion will own a car. In China alone the number of cars will increase ten times over. That’s why it’s so important to reduce CO2 emissions in the future – for example, with locally emissions-free cars.
If the effects of global warming are to remain manageable, the Earth can sustain a temperature rise of no more than two degrees.
Today more than half the world’s population lives in cities that are increasingly cloaked in smog and choked with traffic. By 2050, some 6.4 billion people will be city dwellers – 70 percent of the world’s population.
Megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants have been multiplying for years. In 1950 there was just New York and Tokyo, by 2025 the total will rise to 37. Already many people in urban areas are suffering from noise pollution, traffic congestion and poor air quality. Cities like London and Stockholm try to solve the problem with congestion charges or environmental zones, but a switch to silent, locally emissions-free cars would be far more effective.
The demand for oil is rising while stocks decrease, especially those which are easily accessible. But electricity from renewable sources will never run out.
In the long run, fossil fuels are not a reliable energy source: their global reserves are finite. What’s more, many of the large oil and gas fields lie in politically unstable regions. The International Energy Agency estimates that we will reach peak extraction levels in 2020 – that means global extraction rates will never be so high again. More pessimistic estimates predict an even earlier peak.
Petrol and diesel will inevitably become scarce as their prices continue to rise. Solar energy, however, will remain abundant: in just six hours, the world’s deserts receive as much energy as the planet can consume in a year. Cars that can run on solar power will be at an advantage in the future.
A solar power plant in the Sahara with an area of 110 km squared would be sufficient to meet all Europe's energy needs.
The epoch of the new powertrain begins here.
Huge changes are coming to our planet. Many of them have already begun. These changes bring new challenges, and e-mobility may be one solution. Electric cars produce no local emissions. They help reduce CO2 emissions (if green energy is used to charge the car) and bring climate change under control. Fewer emissions mean cleaner air in our cities, and less noise, because electric motors are virtually silent. The short distances and high population density of cities make them ideal territory for electric cars.