Friday, May 20, 2022

Quality offensive: Volkswagen makes charging easier and more convenient

“In the electric age, charging and energy are of the utmost strategic importance. For example, for many customers who consider an e-car, a home charging option is still a must. We cannot be satisfied with that limitation. With NEW AUTO, we have therefore taken these issues into our own hands and are ourselves investing in comfort, quality and expansion of the charging network on behalf of our customers. This is a strong team effort by our volume brands and the Group! Our goal is to get everyone excited about e-mobility,” says Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board Member for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components.

Hildegard Wortmann, Group Board Member for Sales, adds: “As part of the NEW AUTO strategy, we are consistently working with our Group brands towards the goal of becoming the market leader in e-mobility. To this end, we are building a complete ecosystem for our customers, which also includes the key topic of charging. We want to offer them a fully integrated, comfortable and all-round positive charging experience that they won’t find anywhere else.”

In the future, customers will have the choice between three basic tariffs, each with fixed prices per kilowatt hour charged. The new tariffs apply to customers of We Charge (Volkswagen), Powerpass (ŠKODA), Easy Charging (SEAT/CUPRA) and Elli and offer top conditions for Ionity fast chargers, among other benefits. Volkswagen is thus following the wishes of our customers who are clearly in favour of transparent fixed prices. Depending on the country, prices can be different, but always follow the same logic. Elli, our in-house brand, which is responsible for all activities in the Group around the topic of charging & energy is the backbone of the offer.

More convenience through Plug&Charge and “Selected Partner” program

The quality offensive also includes a “Selected Partner” program together with charging park operators. In the future, particularly convenient charging stations will be highlighted in the e-cars navigation system and drivers will be offered the option of choosing to drive there. The quality criteria will include reliability, weather protection and if there is a catering option. This means that customers will be able to target charging stations with a canopy and coffee offering. The program is scheduled to start later this year.

Another component of the quality offensive is the market launch of Plug&Charge. The function will be activated from the middle of the year via a software update in all e-cars of the volume brands based on the MEB architecture. The vehicle identifies itself at the corresponding charging stations using the ISO 15188 standard and automatically starts the charging process. Plug&Charge is supported by IONITY, Aral/bp, E.ON and Iberdrola, among others. Other partners are already preparing to join the offer.

“We want to offer our customers an optimal charging experience and make the e-car an uncompromisingly first-time vehicle choice. For this reason, we are emphatically addressing the issues of price transparency, network expansion and charging comfort. With the “Selected Partner” program, we will offer e-car drivers a quick and clear overview of the best charging options on their route. This will bring a new quality dynamic to the expansion of the charging network,” says Elke Temme, CEO Volkswagen Group Charging GmbH (Elli) and Senior Vice President Charging & Energy Volkswagen Group Components.

NEW AUTO: Greatest commitment of the automotive industry

With NEW AUTO, the Volkswagen Group has made charging and energy its core business. Like no other car manufacturer, the company is investing in the development of an open fast-charging network worldwide. By 2025, around 45,000 High Power Charging (HPC) points are planned in Europe, China and the USA together with partners. The product range also includes the entire range of charging solutions for private customers and companies – from the company’s own wallbox and flexible fast charging station to charging services and innovative, smart green electricity tariffs. In the next step, Volkswagen will anchor the electric car as a mobile power bank in the energy system creating additional added value for e-car customers.

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