The convergence between the automotive, energy, technology sectors took another major step forward yesterday, as the Volkswagen Group unveiled plans to become a power supplier.
The German auto giant announced it is establishing a new company within the group to provide "energy offerings and charging solutions". Working under the banner Elli Group GmbH, the company will be headquartered in Berlin and is tasked with developing products and services connected with energy and charging for the brands across the VW Group.
Thomas Ulbrich, VW brand board member responsible for E-Mobility, said the new division underscored the company's commitment to driving the transition towards zero emission mobility.
"As one of the world's largest automakers, Volkswagen is going to force the pace of the urgently needed transport and energy transition to emission-neutral e-mobility," he said in a statement. "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."
The move follows a raft of electric vehicle commitments from VW last year, which saw the company attempt to move on from the 'dieselgate' scandal with plans to invest €34bn in a drastically expanded fleet of zero emission models, beef up EV production capacity around the world, introduce new EV sharing schemes, and end production of conventional internal combustion engine cars as early as 2026.
Former CEO of the company's Digital Energy Solutions joint venture, Thorsten Nicklaß, has been designated as CEO of Elli and is set to lead the development of a wide range of new energy supply and EV charging services and technologies.
"Our mission is to take e-mobility out of its niche and to place it firmly in the mainstream," he said in a statement. "The name 'Elli' stands for 'electric life', because we intend to enable a lifestyle that fully integrates the electric car in people's everyday lives. This approach could be compared with the use of a mobile phone, which is taken for granted nowadays."
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