The Volkswagen Group continues to force the pace of climate protection: in future, Volkswagen Group Logistics will be using certified fuel from vegetable residues for certain new car shipments via marine routes. The fuel is produced from materials such as used oil from restaurants and the food industry. The first car freighter was re-fuelled for the first time with this oil in mid-November 2020 and a second ship is due to follow at the beginning of 2021. For European shipments, Volkswagen Group Logistics continuously charters two vessels which carry up to 3,500 vehicles on a route from Emden via Dublin in Ireland, Santander in Spain and Setubal in Portugal back to Emden about 50 times per year. In the course of their journeys, they carry about 250,000 new vehicles of the AUDI, SEAT, SKODA, Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands every year.
The two ships, which are both 180 metres long, are each powered by an MAN marine diesel engine with more than 19,000 PS (14,220 kW). In future, the two ships are to be refueled at sea off the coast of Vlissingen in Netherlands with alternative fuel supplied by the Dutch company GoodFuels. This way, the CO2 emissions of the two conventional vessels along their route will be reduced by more than 85% – from over 60,000 to about 9,000 tonnes per year. In addition, sulphur oxide emissions will be almost completely avoided.
This change is part of a strategy to make Group Logistics even greener: another element is the use of liquefied natural gas to power car freighters. These vessels travel between Europe, North America and Latin America. Furthermore, all rail shipments in Germany with DB Cargo are being changed over to eco-power.