Volkswagen, Audi offer electric car carbon offsets – USA TODAY

Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2014

As if electric cars weren’t “green” enough, Volkswagen and Audi say they are going to invest in projects that will offset the carbon emissions created in production, distribution and driving of their respective plug-in cars.

The goal, VW announced at an industry conference in Traverse City, Mich., is to create a “truly holistic approach to ultra-low-carbon mobility” on its new eGolf electric vehicle. Volkswagen’s luxury car group, Audi, in a separate announcement, says it will follow the same strategy for its A3 Sportback e-tron, due late next year.

The new eGolf is a fully-electric version of VW’s popular small car, goes on sale this fall in select states. An electric car, of course, is emission free. But except in places where wind or solar is used to make electricity, oil or gas is usually burned at power plants to make the juice that eventually flows into the car’s battery, producing carbon emissions.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is a plug-in hybrid, meaning it has a gas engine in addition to batteries.

Volkswagen, for its part, said its projects in California and Texas will help make up for the emissions tied to its cars. It says they will cover 36,000 miles of driving, in line with the car’s warranty. Audi says it will purchase carbon offset certificates to try to offset most of the emissions from 50,000 miles of driving.

“Volkswagen feels it is important to look beyond the benefits of driving a vehicle without tailpipe emissions and to take a holistic approach to e-mobility,” said Oliver Schmidt, general manager of environment and engineering for Volkswagen Group of America.

Volkswagen says it will support:

Forests. Volkswagen is supporting the Garcia River Forestry Project, aimed at helping to protect a 24,000-acre native redwood forest in Mendocino County, Calif. It is also working to protect trees in the Big River and Salmon Creek forests in the same county.

Landfill. VW will back a project to capture gases leaking from a shuttered landfill in McKinney, Texas. The hope is that the project will not only reduce odors, but improve water quality and open the door to future collection of the gases that can be burned off.


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