Audi is considering investments in clean energy for sites in China where the luxury automaker is struggling to source enough power from renewable sources to churn out hundreds of thousands of vehicles each year.
Volkswagen Group’s key earnings contributor has pledged to make its production network carbon-neutral by 2025, and has already moved plants in Belgium and Hungary onto a net-zero footprint. The task is more complex elsewhere, and particularly in China where fossil fuels remain a dominant source of power supply.
“China is the most difficult market to precisely forecast the tipping point toward electric vehicles, partly because of the availability of green energy sources in some regions,” Chief Financial Officer Juergen Rittersberger said in an interview. Audi may move to “investing in green energy ourselves at some locations.”
The move would echo efforts by peers such as China’s biggest private automaker, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which plans to install photovoltaic cells on the roofs of all factories within two years.
China, the world’s largest auto market, still relies on fossil fuels but is investing heavily in energy transition with $266 billion spent last year on the deployment of low-carbon technologies, according to a BloombergNEF report. That is more than a third of the record global total of $755 billion.