Vorwerk has set itself ambitious climate protection targets. The company wants to reduce its own CO2 emissions by around two thirds by 2025. Electrification of its own vehicle fleet is making an important contribution. The "Electrify Vorwerk" working group is tackling this task. In an interview, the head of the working group, Holger Büscher, reports on the many challenges of the project.
The conversion of the Vorwerk vehicle fleet to e-vehicles (hybrid and electric cars) is the most important measure alongside the use of green electricity. "After all, in 2020 alone, 60 percent of emissions came from the combustion of fossil fuels by the vehicle fleet," says Holger Büscher, Managing Director of akf servicelease GmbH. He emphasizes, "A reduction can only succeed through the gradual electrification of these vehicles." An enormous task for the work of the team founded at the end of 2020.
Vorwerk has set itself ambitious climate protection targets. The company wants to reduce around two-thirds of its own CO2 emissions by 2025 (Sustainability Report 2020). In addition to the use of green electricity, the conversion of the Vorwerk vehicle fleet to e-vehicles (hybrid and electric cars) is the most important measure here. "After all, in 2020 alone, 60 percent of emissions came from the combustion of fossil fuels by the vehicle fleet," says Holger Büscher, head of the "Electrify Vorwerk" working group. The managing director of akf servicelease GmbH emphasizes, "A reduction can only succeed through the gradual electrification of these vehicles." An enormous task for the work of the team founded at the end of 2020.
The seven sub-working groups that are dealing with all facets of electrification (see graphic) already show the fact that it is an extremely complex challenge.
Three topics in particular are currently occupying the interdisciplinary working group, explains Holger Büscher: "We want to put together a complete package. It's not just about the electric vehicle itself, but about the entire infrastructure. How do we enable charging at home, charging at work and charging on the road? Of course, every e-driver wants to be able to park and charge at home in a relaxed manner, just as they do at work. Getting that right is challenging."
In addition, according to Büscher, a uniform system is to be found that maps the seamless billing of all charging processes. The working group is looking at different solution providers to find out who can really do what. The market is diverse, but the one solution that combines different systems and requirements does not yet exist.
"In parallel, Vorwerk's Car Policy was revised. This has applied to all employees in the German subsidiaries since 01.01.2022. Starting this year, orders for company cars in the office will be exclusively electric or partially electric (plug-in hybrids)."
Büscher stresses that this is not a foregone conclusion: "We are trying to enable e-mobility for company car drivers with a full range of offers. But people have no idea of all the things that need to be considered in the process. We are entering uncharted territory, and many things are still unregulated."
Büscher, a passionate e-car driver, talks about tax aspects, data protection, compliance rules and liability issues: "What happens if a car bursts into flames at one of our charging stations? Who is liable for that? How much charging power am I allowed to offer a Vorwerk guest free of charge? At what point does this become a case for compliance? What will politicians say about hybrid vehicles in six months' time? Will the subsidies and tax advantages still apply then?"
However, the head of the working group does have one piece of very good news to report: "The acceptance of e-cars is clearly increasing. With the expansion of the charging infrastructure and good ranges of today's e-vehicles, there are hardly any arguments against climate-friendly mobility."
And Büscher adds: "There is not a single customer of akf servicelease with whom we do not talk about electrification. The topic has become widespread. Everyone is thinking about it and considering how I can make my mobility more environmentally friendly."
The manager, who has been driving one himself for five years, recommends to anyone interested in e-cars: "Try it out, just do it. Take a pragmatic and open-minded approach. All I can say for myself is that I am a believer. It's fun, relatively easy, and decelerates your own driving immensely."