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  3. Guided Tour 06

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Guided Tour | Logistic

Far more than just A to B

Every day, 200 million parts have to be transported to supply the Volkswagen Group’s 125 production facilities with material. And every day, 44,000 vehicles have to be delivered to customers around the world. This adds up to 18,000 trucks and 1,500 railroad cars in Europe alone. This is a gigantic logistical effort which naturally has a correspondingly large CO₂ footprint. Nevertheless, Volkswagen succeeds in continuously reducing this footprint through clever measures and innovative concepts. Who would have thought that you could use old cooking oil from restaurants to power entire freighters, saving 85% of the CO₂ emissions in the process?


Volkswagen AG
Emden, Germany

Climate-friendlier shipping – thanks to used vegetable oil

A substance that was considered worthless waste just a few years ago can now power ships: Used vegetable oils and fats from the catering and food industries have been turned into a new refined biofuel. And Volkswagen is the first automaker to make use of it – in two charter ships that transport vehicles on sea routes around Europe’s coastlines. This reduces CO₂ emissions by 85 % compared with conventional fossil fuels. 

Shipping companies can use the biofuel produced by Dutch company GoodFuels as a 1:1 replacement for heavy fuel oil, which contains high levels of sulfur. No engine modifications are required. Another benefit? The new biofuel does not emit any sulfur oxide whatsoever.

Volkswagen uses the new fuel in two charter ships, each of which can transport 3,500 vehicles. The ships carry new vehicles on a circular route from Emden to Dublin, to Santander in Spain, to Setubal in Portugal and back to Emden. Each year they transport around 250,000 new vehicles from the AUDI, ŠKODA, Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands. By running on biofuel, they cut CO₂ emissions by a total of around 52,000 metric tonnes per year.

Volkswagen AG
Emden, Germany

Protecting the climate on the high seas

Ocean-going container ships usually run on heavy fuel oil. This produces high levels of CO₂, sulfur oxides, particulates, nitrogen oxides and soot, all of which are harmful to the climate and the environment. 

Volkswagen is demonstrating an alternative way to transport vehicles on the North Atlantic route between Emden in northern Germany and ports in North America and Mexico: Two ocean-going vehicle freighters fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the SIEM CONFUCIUS and the SIEM ARISTOTLE, have been plying this route since 2020. LNG burns much more cleanly than heavy fuel oil: nitrogen oxide emissions are up to 30 % lower, soot particles are down by up to 60 %, and sulfur dioxide is 100 % eliminated (per year per ship). This is good for the environment and for the climate too, since CO₂ emissions are also reduced by up to 25 %. 

In the past, only smaller short-haul vessels were built to run on LNG; Volkswagen Group Logistics is a pioneer in using LNG-powered ocean-going car carriers. Measuring 200 meters long and 38 meters wide, the ships can transport around 4,700 typical vehicles from the Volkswagen Group model mix. They are powered by a 12,600 kW dual-fuel marine engine with exhaust gas treatment. In the future, the engine will also be able to run on environmentally friendly biogas or e-gas produced by Power-to-X, which would make it practically carbon-neutral in operation. 

Martorell, Spain

High payload, low emissions

Increasingly, SEAT S.A. is relying on the two largest types of semitrailer on European roads – the Duo Trailer and Giga Trailer – to transport components to the company’s plant in Martorell, Spain. Compared to conventional trucks, the semis have much greater capacity and carry a higher payload. Because they can do more in fewer trips, the total number of trips is reduced. Not only does this cut logistics costs by around 25 percent, it also reduces CO emissions by up to 30 percent. The Duo Trailer consists of a tractor unit and two 13.6-meter trailers, giving the rig an overall length of 31.7 meters. The maximum payload is 70 metric tonnes. The Giga Trailer is the Duo Trailer’s little brother; measuring 25.25 meters from headlight to taillight, it can transport a maximum payload of 60 metric tonnes.

Volkswagen AG
Palmela. Portugal

Climate conservation – by rail

As soon as T-Roc, Sharan or Alhambra vehicles roll off the production line at the Volkswagen Autoeuropa plant in Palmela, Portugal, they set off on their travels. In the past, a truck used to take them to the port of Setúbal, about 30 km away, where they were loaded onto a ship. Since such a truck, on average, can transport just eight vehicles, this meant that 63 trips were being made every day, generating around 1.7 metric tonnes of CO₂ emissions. Consequently, the plant decided to reactivate an old railway line leading from the factory to the port and, working with partner companies, installed a regular rail transportation service. The train operating on the line can transport 125 cars at a time and currently makes the trip up to four times a day, delivering around 500 vehicles to the port. The result: CO₂ savings of 400 metric tonnes a year.

T-Roc 1.0 TSI (85 kW) - Fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.1 (urban), 4.5 (overland), 5.1 (combined); CO₂ emissions combined in g/km: 117, efficiency class: B

Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic

Customers receive the ENYAQ iV carbon neutral

The new ŠKODA ENYAQ iV is not only locally emission-free on the road: ŠKODA delivers its new electric flagship to its customers net carbon neutral. Accordingly, ŠKODA creates ISO-certified documentation of the CO₂ emissions throughout the entire production process. ŠKODA also compensates for the previously unavoidable CO₂ emissions by investing in certified climate protection projects such as the construction of a wind park in India. This provides ENYAQ iV drivers with 100% climate-friendly mobility provided that they recharge the SUV entirely with regenerative electricity.

Because prevention is better than compensation, ŠKODA strives to reduce production-related CO₂ emissions. Even the supplier’s energy-intensive battery manufacturing process utilises green electricity. When transporting the components and material, the OPTIKON app with its artificial intelligence ensures the best possible usage of the space in the transport containers. As a consequence, more than 150 container transports and, therefore, 80 metric tonnes of CO₂ emissions were successfully saved in the first six months of 2020 alone. The Czech Republic’s largest photovoltaic roof system provides the majority of the energy needed for production at ŠKODA’s main production facility in Mladá Boleslav. Over the course of the decade, all of the energy needed at ŠKODA AUTO’s Czech plants will be drawn from CO2-neutral sources.

ŠKODA also has its eye in the time after the end of the vehicle’s life cycle: the vehicle batteries are later used as energy storage systems at ŠKODA dealerships. After this “second life” they are recycled and the raw materials reused.

ŠKODA ENYAQ iV (electric) - combined power consumption in kWh/100 km (NEDC): 14.9-15.2; CO₂ emissions in g/km: 0; efficiency class: A+

Aurangabad, India

Smart climate-friendly packing

When you move house, smart packing helps you fit everything in the van in one go – cupboards, carpets, pot plants and your favorite floor lamp. By making one trip instead of two, you also cut down your CO₂ emissions. Now ŠKODA has perfected this simple principle with its 4-in-1 transportation concept.

The logistics team at ŠKODA AUTO is using this unique concept to transport car bodies and parts from its main production plant in Mladá Boleslav in the Czech Republic to its Aurangabad plant in India. While doors and hoods are already mounted, many other parts and components in the consignments are shipped disassembled. ŠKODA uses large overseas shipping containers to ensure that all the parts that belong together stay together. Containers are also safe and logistically efficient. Normally, a single container has enough space for just two car bodies plus their non-assembled parts.

But after a long period of development, ŠKODA’s logistics experts have now devised a carrier system that allows four vehicles to fit inside each container instead of just two, making use of every last inch of space. And the climate benefits too: 290 fewer containers now make the 13,270-kilometer journey to India each year, reducing annual CO₂ emissions by around 850 metric tonnes.

Logistics as an important contribution to decarbonisation

With the goTOzero Impact Logistics initiative, the Volkswagen Group Logistics will continue optimising the production and transport network and massively reduce emissions – in particular, by shifting the transport from road to rail and the CO2 compensation for rail transport.  

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