VW enters energy supply market with new charging and renewable energy firm

VW is creating a portfolio of power tariffs

The VW Group has this week confirmed the creation of the Elli Group, which will be headquartered in Berlin and will develop and deliver products that assist the emergence and growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market.

Elli Group will offer customers 100% carbon-neutral energy “offerings” from renewable sources to be used to power EVs and stored in a variety of charging and energy storage solutions.

VW’s brand board member responsible for e-mobility Thomas Ulbrich said: “As one of the world’s largest automakers, VW 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.”

VW is creating a portfolio of power tariffs, charging stations and stationary and mobile storage solutions to increase the appetite for its EV models. Last year, VW announced that every vehicle in its model portfolio will have an electric version on sale to customers by 2030.

The renewable power tariffs will, according to VW, contain 100% carbon-neutral electricity from hydropower plants that will be certified by product certification firm TÜV.

A “low-cost” 11kW AC Wallbox will be developed for domestic overnight charging, with a full charge taking between five and eight hours. VW is also developing a “high-end” 22kW DC charging station that offers bidirectional charging and connection to an energy management system. This makes it possible to store renewable energy generated from onsite technologies that can be used to power the vehicle or fed back into the grid to earn revenue.

VW will also innovate for commercial EV fleets, with details on installation, operation and maintenance services relating to charging infrastructure expected to be released later this year.

Through the Elli Group, EV will also aim to increase the number of charging stations at company carparks and dealerships, initially boosting stations at VW employee car parks from 1,000 to 5,000 by 2020.

The announcement builds on the launch of the VW ID, the first EV from the carmaker based on a modular electric toolkit (MEB), scheduled for release in 2020. The MEB battery packs will also feature in a mobile rapid charger consisting of second-life EV batteries that can charge up to four vehicles simultaneously.

According to VW, the station works like a power bank would for smartphones and has a charging capacity of up to 360kWh, meaning that up to 15 EVs can be charged, and four charged at the same time.

New year, new LEAF

VW has joined companies such as Nissan by branching out into the energy services market. Nissan, for example, already offers a plethora of charging and energy infrastructure solutions, including a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) demonstrator project.

In fact, Nissan has today (9 January) unveiled launched the latest versions of its electric LEAF model (pictured above).

The Nissan LEAF 3.ZERO e+ Limited Edition – of which only 5,000 units will be produced for the European market – is expected to deliver a longer driving range of up to 239 miles on a single charge of the 62 kWh capacity battery.

The new battery contains 288 cells compared to the 192 found in the 40 kWh equivalent and offers a 25% increase in energy density and a 55% increase in storage capacity without impacting on the size or weight of the vehicle.

The new models are priced at more than £30,000 and are eligible for a £3,500 Plug-in Car Grant from the UK Government.  

Matt Mace

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