Electric vehicles are just one part of the solution. Charging with green energy is also an important part. Tesla understood that, which is why it launched Tesla Energy.
Now, Volkswagen is following their lead with an energy and charging division called Elli.
The company will combine energy solutions with charging options both at home and through a public charging network.
Thomas Ulbrich, Volkswagen brand Board Member responsible for E-Mobility, explained the plan for Elli:
“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. 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.”
Volkswagen new division will be gradually “building up a portfolio of intelligent power tariffs”, mainly from renewable sources such as hydropower plants, as well as “wallboxes, charging stations, and an IT-based energy management system.”
Thorsten Nicklaß has been appointed CEO of the new company.
“Our mission is to take e-mobility out of its niche and to place it firmly in the mainstream. 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.”
Nicklaß was formerly CEO of the company’s Digital Energy Solutions joint venture.
“We will be creating a seamless, sustainable ecosystem that addresses the main applications and provides answers to all the energy questions raised by electric car users and fleet operators.”
They are planning to launch in 2020 in order to be to market around the same time as the Volkswagen ID., the first model based on the modular electric toolkit (MEB) in 2020.
That’s awesome. Elon Musk said it best: we need to address energy consumption with electric vehicles and energy generation with renewable energy.
It’s why he helped launch Tesla and SolarCity and later decided to join the two of them. You have the whole solution in one place.
I am glad that we are seeing more automakers get the big picture and address both sides of the issue.
Let’s be honest though, it’s not only out of the goodness of their hearts. It also makes a lot of business sense.
If successful, you end up owning both the vehicle business and the energy business to charge those vehicles. It’s like Volkswagen owning Chevron in the gas era.