We look to develop products that will make the most efficient possible use of energy, fuel and resources. The Volkswagen Group develops all vehicles and technologies with the goal of improving on the environmental performance of their predecessors. That means for example that every new vehicle generation from the Volkswagen brand must be between 10 and 15% more efficient than its predecessor. At the same time Volkswagen was also the first automaker to commit to the ambitious goal of reducing its European new-car fleet-average emissions to 95 g CO2/km by 2020.
In order to achieve this, we seek to minimize the environmental impact of our products from the very earliest stages of the development process. In accordance with the Group Environmental Principles Product, we aim to continuously improve our products with particular reference to climate protection, resource conservation and health protection. The figures prove that our product development strategy is making good headway. The average CO2 emissions of our European fleet were reduced from 159 to 128 g CO2/km between 2008 and 2013 (EU 28, including Croatia from July 1, 2013) – a fall of approximately 19%. A total of 324 model variants emit less than 120 g CO2/km and 54 model variants already emit less than 100 g CO2/km.

Life Cycle Engineering

The term “Life Cycle Engineering” means improving the environmental footprint of the vehicle over its entire life cycle. This process begins with a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), in which the environmental impacts of the vehicle are assessed across the full life cycle – from resource extraction, through production and operation to eventual recycling. Amongst other things, a Life Cycle Assessment reveals the quantitative variations in environmental impacts over the different phases of the vehicle’s life cycle. In the case of conventional petrol or diesel vehicles for example, it reveals that most CO2 – approximately three quarters – is emitted in the use phase. The fraction emitted at the manufacturing stage is much smaller. In the case of water on the other hand, the picture is quite different. Even if it is regularly washed, the consumption of water during the vehicle’s useful life is very low. Most water is consumed at earlier stages in the life cycle.


THE Volkswagen group’s top ten best-selling models in 2013

Model group1   Engines   Fuel   CO2 emissions (combined)2   Unladen weight2   Efficiency class  
up! 3-in-line 1.0 l 44 kW SRE 4 V petrol 95 g [CO2/km] 940 kg B
up! 3-in-line 1.0 l 55 kW SRE 4V petrol 98 g [CO2/km] 940 kg B
Golf VII 4-in-line 1.2 l 77 kW TSI 4V petrol 114 g [CO2/km] 1,210 kg B
Golf VII 4-in-line 1.4 l 90 kW TSI 4V petrol 116 g [CO2/km] 1,249 kg B
Golf VII 4-in-line 1.6 l 77 kW TDI-CR 4V diesel 99 g [CO2/km] 1,295 kg A
Golf VII 4-in-line 2.0 l 110 kW TDI-CR 4V diesel 106 g [CO2/km] 1,354 kg A
Tiguan 4-in-line 2.0 l 103 kW TDI-CR 4V diesel 138 g [CO2/km] 1,541 kg B
Caddy 4-in-line 1.6 l 75 kW TDI-CR 4V diesel 119 g [CO2/km] 1,549 kg A
Audi A3 sportback 4-in-line 2.0 l 110 kW TDI-CR 4V diesel 108 g [CO2/km] 1,385 kg A
Passat estate 4-in-line 2.0 l 103 kW TDI-CR 4V diesel 120 g [CO2/km] 1,571 kg A

1 Shown in ascending order by segments, fuels and engines.
2 CO2/km and unladen weight figures may vary depending on vehicle configuration
(for example, transmission, BMT versions and equipment lines).

Established Group-wide in 2013: the Corporate Working Group “Life Cycle Engineering”.

Analyzing the life cycle environmental impact of a vehicle is a complex task. For the production phase, data must be inventoried for all components and all processes. This data is drawn from vehicle parts lists, the Volkswagen Material Information System (MISS) and external databases. From these various sources, a Life Cycle Inventory is prepared using a Volkswagen-developed IT tool. Fuel consumption and emissions during the use phase are calculated for the entire useful life of the vehicle, using the statutory New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). In addition to driving emissions, the use phase emissions also include emissions from fuel production processes. Finally, for the last phase of the life cycle – recycling – energy consumption and emissions for dismantling and recycling the end-of-life vehicle are calculated.

In a further step, the inventoried data on emissions is then classified into environmental impact categories. CO2 and methane for example contribute to the category “global warming”. The other environmental impact categories considered are photochemical ozone creation, acidification, ozone depletion and eutrophication potential. The results of the Life Cycle Assessment, which is carried out in strict compliance with the ISO 14040 and 14044 international standards on Life Cycle Assessments, allow the company to identify the most ecologically advantageous solutions at an early stage. Based on these findings, development work can then be geared to achieving the greatest possible environmental benefits over the entire life cycle of the product. 52
In 2013 the Corporate Working Group “Life Cycle Engineering” was set up, in which experts from the brands are working to harmonize the guidelines and methodology for Life Cycle Assessments across the entire Group and to support best practice-sharing among successful Life Cycle Engineering projects.

Environmental Commendations and Life Cycle Assessments

For selected models, the Volkswagen brand publishes Environmental Commendations, which inform customers and the general public about the ecological progress represented by the new model at life cycle level, compared with its predecessors. The comparison is based on the detailed Life Cycle Assessments described above, which are certified for Volkswagen by independent auditor TÜV NORD to confirm that they are based on reliable data and were drawn up in accordance with the requirements of ISO 14040 and 14044. By the end of 2013, Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles had published a total of 18 Environmental Commendations.  53
Since 2010, Audi has been producing Life Cycle Assessments for new model series and publishing them at market launch. Life Cycle Assessments have been published for the Audi A3, the Audi A6 and the Audi e-gas project. In 2013, SEAT published a “Carpeta ambiental” (environmental profile) for the new Leon, which shows how the new model compares with predecessor models in terms of its key environmental data. Also, for the first time, a Life Cycle Assessment was carried out for the SEAT Leon.

New Models from the Brands

The Volkswagen Group believes in the importance of offering a diversity of different technologies. This broad-based approach differentiates the company from its competitors. Alongside the further improvement of petrol (TSI) and diesel (TDI) models, the Group’s technologies and development activities also span natural-gas vehicles, all-electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles with battery and fuel-cell technology. This comprehensive approach supports the corporate goal of developing attractive and affordable vehicles to cater to the widest possible spectrum of requirements. These vehicles must use scarce resources as efficiently as possible and at the same time offer highest standards of comfort and convenience.

Efficiency Models (TSI and TDI) 2013

Volkswagen. The third generation of the Golf TDI BlueMotion was presented by Volkswagen in spring 2013. This vehicle’s fuel consumption of just 3.2 liters of diesel per 100 km and emissions of 85 g CO2/km (NEDC) are among the best in its class. The low fuel consumption is largely down to the newly developed four-cylinder 110 PS diesel engine. In line with corporate objectives, the engineers achieved a 15% reduction in fuel consumption over the predecessor model. The Golf TDI BlueMotion is equipped with automatic stop-start functionality and braking energy recuperation. Aerodynamic refinements, low vehicle weight, the modified six-speed manual transmission and extra low rolling-resistance tires are further factors contributing to high fuel efficiency.
With the Caddy BlueMotion , unveiled in 2013, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles presented a version of the popular urban delivery van which consumes up to 1.1 l/km less fuel than a Caddy without BlueMotion. The fuel consumption of 4.5 l/100 km is achieved using a variety of aerodynamic and technical modifications – for example it features start-stop functionality, low rolling resistance tires, reduced ride height and braking energy recuperation.

Audi. The most fuel-efficient production model of the Audi brand is the 110-PS Audi A3 1.6 TDI ultra which, despite its comfortable specification, boasts fuel consumption of 3.2 l/100 km, corresponding to CO2 emissions of just 85 g/km. This new A3 model version entered the market in fall 2013. It is the most efficient model in the current Audi range, and is also the brand’s first model to bear the “ultra” badge. This label stands for Audi’s commitment to systematic sustainability in its products and production processes.

Trucks are constantly in use, so efficiency improvements generate even bigger benefits.

Scania. In July 2013, Scania Germany reported shipment of its 1,000th Euro VI compliant truck, a Scania R 440. And in 2011, Scania had already become the first manufacturer to put Euro VI-engined trucks on the road. The Euro VI standard reduces the nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate emissions limits of Euro V regulations by approximately 80%.
The Scania Streamline range of G- and R-series long-haul trucks are optimized for low fuel consumption. To maximize fuel savings, their automatic transmission’s new Economy mode is fully integrated with the Scania Active Prediction cruise control system. Together with the new, more efficient second-generation Euro VI engines this enables fuel savings in long-distance haulage of up to 8%. Euro VI will be mandatory for all newly registered heavy-duty vehicles from January 2014 and for newly registered vehicles of all types from September 2014.
In the second half of 2013 Scania presented its Eco-roll system, which can cut customers’ fuel costs by up to 2%. Eco-roll calculates the exact point at which the truck can start to use gravity on downhill stretches. On long descents, this system decides whether it is more fuel-efficient for the truck to use gravity to coast downhill with the transmission in neutral and the engine idling, or whether to use the engine brake with the fuel supply shut off.

The SEAT Leon is the model with the lowest emissions in its segment.

Scania Euro VI engines set standards for how to meet even the strictest emission regulations.

SEAT. With its reduced CO2 emissions of just 85 g/km, the Leon 1.6 TDI CR 110 CV Ecomotive set a new milestone at its launch in late 2013, with the lowest emissions of any vehicle in its segment. Ecomotive versions with reduced emissions are available for all the other models in the SEAT range too. In these versions the Ibiza and Ibiza ST achieve 88 g/km, the Toledo 99 g/km, the Altea and Altea XL 111 g/km and the Alhambra 143 g/km.

ŠKODA. Despite adverse weather conditions, record-breaking driver Gerhard Plattner recorded fuel consumption of just 2.7 l/100 km with a standard ŠKODA Fabia Combi GreenLine model in the “Trans-Germany Economy Drive” in October 2013. This is a 0.3 l/100 km improvement on the official fuel consumption of 3 l/100 km. This thrifty performance comes amongst other things from braking energy recuperation, the start-stop system and aerodynamic refinements.


Emissions category   Proportion of total deliveries of Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles, Audi, SEAT and ŠKODA  
≤ 95 g CO2/km 1.23%
≤ 100 g CO2/km 10.30%
≤ 120 g CO2/km 47.78%
≤ 130 g CO2/km 63.24%

Natural-Gas Models 2013

Volkswagen. The IAA Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2013 saw the world debut of the Golf TGI BlueMotion (the TGI badge is used to denote Volkswagen’s natural-gas-capable models). Its 110-PS four-cylinder engine operates on both natural gas and on petrol. Natural gas is used as the default fuel, the system automatically switching to petrol when the CNG tank is empty. Natural-gas consumption is just 3.5 kg/100 km, with CO2 emissions of 92 g/km for vehicles with DSG dual-clutch gearbox, and 94 g/km for vehicles with manual transmission. The Golf TGI BlueMotion is the seventh natural-gas vehicle in the Volkswagen line-up. It joins the eco up! , Touran TSI EcoFuel , Passat TSI EcoFuel , Passat Estate TSI EcoFuel , Caddy EcoFuel and Caddy Maxi Eco-Fuel .

Audi. The Audi A3 sportback g-tron , which went into production in Ingolstadt in December 2013, returns average fuel consumption of between 3.2 and 3.3 kg of CNG per 100 km. CO2 emissions are just 88 to 92 g/km. And if its runs on Audi e-gas, which is produced from CO2 and green electricity, the A3 sportback g-tron is virtually carbon-neutral, emitting exactly the same amount of CO2 when the fuel is burnt as was absorbed when manufacturing the fuel in the first place.

SEAT. SEAT is focusing its efforts on cutting the CO2 emissions of its entire model range. The Mii 1.0 MPI Ecofuel Ecomotive , launched in 2012, is still one of the cleanest cars on the market and at 79 g/km has the lowest emissions in the range.

ŠKODA. The ŠKODA Citigo CNG emits just 79 g CO2/km – normally, that is. Because depending on how the car is driven this figure can be substantially reduced. On a fuel-saver run from Italy to Sweden in the summer of 2013, this long-distance all-rounder consumed an average of 2.4 kg of natural gas per 100 km, which equates to just 65 g CO2/km. The CNG version of the ŠKODA Citigo features impressive efficiency. Its 3-cylinder 1-liter engine has an output of 68 PS. With average fuel consumption of just 2.9 kg of natural gas per 100 km, the Citigo ranks among the world’s most fuel-efficient and cost-effective vehicles.

Hybrid Models 2013

Volkswagen. The XL1 is the first “one-liter” car (100 km on 1 l of fuel) in the world. Volkswagen began building this limited-production model – 200 units will be built for customers plus 50 units which will remain with VW – in 2013. With emissions of 21 g CO2/km and fuel consumption of 0.9 l of diesel or 7.2 kWh of electricity per 100 km, the XL1 is at the forefront of technology development at Volkswagen. No other plug-in hybrid based on an electric motor and diesel internal combustion engine is more fuel-efficient. In electric mode, the XL1• can travel for up to 50 km with zero emissions. It represents the current automotive state of the art in terms of drive technology, electronics, battery technology, aerodynamics and lightweight design. The body of the XL1 consists primarily of lightweight, strong carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), giving the vehicle an unladen weight of just 795 kg. To get this vehicle into production, Volkswagen had to achieve the previously impossible in terms of both technologies and production processes. The extensively CFRP-based XL1 is built using an all-new process similar to hand-built production.

2013 also saw the market debut of the European version of the Jetta Hybrid . This vehicle is powered by a high-tech gasoline engine (TSI, 110 kW/150 PS) and a 20-kW electric motor. The standard-fitted transmission is an automatic seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. With average fuel consumption of 4.1 l/100 km (95 g CO2/km), this sporty saloon offers 20% better economy than a comparably powered conventional-drive car. The Jetta Hybrid automatically switches to all-electric mode whenever possible. All-electric mode can also be selected manually, at the press of a button, providing zero-emission mobility over a distance of up to 2 km, at speeds up to 70 km/h.


Brand   Model   Unit sales eco-/
efficiency models 2013, EU-28 1  
Total unit sales 2013, EU-28 1  
Volkswagen Passenger Cars VWPC BlueMotion 16,918
  + BlueMotion Technology 841,361
  BlueTDI models 4,567  
  EcoFuel models (CNG) 16,120  
  MultiFuel models (E85) 1,786  
  BiFuel models (LPG) 1,565  
  Hybrid 3,363  
  Total eco-/efficiency models 885,680 1,399,956
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles VWCV BlueMotion 1,051  
  + BlueMotion Technology 66,035  
  CNG 3,750  
  LPG 480  
  Total eco-/efficiency models 71,316 272,251
Audi e-models 25,394  
  Clean Diesel 8,237  
  FlexFuel 306  
  Hybrid 359  
  Total eco-/efficiency models 34,296 663,521
ŠKODA ŠKODA GreenLine 11,710  
  + Green tec packages 32,176  
  CNG models 1,302  
  Total eco-/efficiency models 45,188 481,628
SEAT SEAT e-ecomotive 22,195  
  + ecomotive packages 111,579  
  LPG models 1,645  
  Total eco-/efficiency models 135,419 277,596
Volkswagen Group Sum total   3,094,952

Total unit sales in 2013 in the EU281 market as a whole (deliveries to customers): 11,828,530 vehicles.

1 Austria, Baltic States, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, W. Europe (rest).

MAN. The MAN Lion’s City Hybrid city bus made its successful market debut in Munich in 2010. In the meantime it is already on line-service duty in Barcelona, Paris and many other cities. With its serial hybrid drive system, this low-floor bus offers up to 30% fuel savings, with a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions. It also stores braking energy and transforms it into power for its two electric drive motors. Electrical auxiliary consumers like the air-conditioning system are powered by the roof-mounted energy accumulator.

Porsche. In May 2013 the Shanghai Auto Show saw the world debut of the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid , the world’s first plug-in hybrid in its class. The 95-PS electric motor is twice as powerful as on the predecessor model, contributing to a combined output of 416 PS. The energy for the electric motor is supplied by a newly developed lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 9.4 kWh, over five times that of the previous nickel-metal hydride battery. The battery can be recharged in two-and-a-half hours at an industrial power socket, and in less than four hours at a standard German household power socket. The fuel consumption of the Panamera S E-Hybrid• is 3.1 l/100 km – an improvement of 4 l/100 km over the previous model. CO2 emissions are 71 g/km. The real-world electric driving range is between 18 and 36 kilometers. The Panamera S E-Hybrid’s top speed in all-electric mode is 135 km/h.
2013 also saw the launch of Porsche’s first hybrid super sports car, the 918 Spyder . This model combines racetrack-derived technology with minimal fuel consumption – despite developing maximum output of 887 PS, the 918 Spyder returns fuel consumption of just 3.1 l/100 km, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 72 g/km.

Electric Vehicles 2013

Volkswagen. The e-up! , which has been on the market since November 2013, is Volkswagen’s first production electric vehicle. Consuming just 11.7 kWh of electricity per 100 km, it offers world-class efficiency (efficiency class: A+). This four-seater small car is powered by a compact 82-PS electric motor, with floor-mounted lithium-ion battery pack and power electronics. The electric motor supplies its power to the front wheels via a single-speed transmission. All components, including the battery, were developed by Volkswagen. The average achievable driving range of the e-up! , which has a top speed of 130 km/h, is up to 160 km, depending on topography, driving style and payload. The exemplary fuel efficiency of the e-up! is down to excellent aerodynamics for a vehicle of this size, low rolling resistance and efficient powertrain components. Further factors are the highly efficient recuperation system, innovative equipment modules and a newly developed, particularly efficient climate control system.
In the second half of 2013, Volkswagen presented a further all-electric volume-production model – the e-Golf . This electric version of the best-selling Golf will be launched in early 2014. Consuming just 12.7 kWh/100 km, the e-Golf is the most economical electric vehicle in its class. Powered by an 85 kW/115 PS electric motor, it boasts a driving range of up to 190 km (NEDC), a top speed of 140 km/h and a wide range of efficiency technologies including a recuperation system with a choice of settings, energy-saving LED headlights and an optional heat pump that reduces the energy consumption of the climate control system.
Via the Car-Net online services and the Car-Net website, e-up! and e-Golf customers can access further useful functions for optimized electric driving. These functions make it possible for them to display vehicle data and program a variety of settings irrespective of the current location of the vehicle. It is also possible to remote-control the charging process via Car-Net.
With a concept model presented by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show 2013, Volkswagen has also illustrated the potential for electric drive in the light commercial vehicle sector. The e-Co-Motion van, offering cargo capacity of 4.6 m3, is designed for carbon-neutral urban delivery work, while the e-load up! micro van – another concept – is designed to meet the needs of service engineers, courier services, delivery drivers and social services. The e-load up! is based on the e-up! model. The van version has a fold-up passenger seat and more than 1 m3 of cargo capacity.