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Audi Australia has become the country’s first car company to make a 100 per cent renewable-energy commitment – and not at some far-off date in the future, but by 2021 – after agreeing to a deal to source its energy from the Capital Wind Farm Precinct in the ACT.
Audi Australia CEO Paul Sansom announced the promise at the launch of the brand's first all-electric vehicle, the e-tron, in Canberra recently, describing it as the beginning of a “journey to sustainability”.
“It gives me great pleasure and a strong sense of pride to share this with you, because we’ve set ourselves ambitious goals in this area,” he said.
“We know it’s important to e-tron customers, and our broader Audi customers, to the Australian community in which we operate, and ultimately to the planet that will nurture and sustain future generations.
“From 2021, Audi Australia has made a 100 per cent renewable energy commitment, in line with what we think should be the expectations placed on us, as a leader in sustainable mobility.
“It’s a significant step for us, but it’s not an end, it’s just the start. It’s the beginning of our journey in zero-emissions motoring.”
Mr Sansom said the decision means the Australian arm of the business is standing side by side with Audi AG in Germany, which is building all e-tron models in Brussels at the world’s first carbon-neutral large-scale production plant.
By 2025, Audi wants all of its production to be net-zero in terms of emissions, and aims to “reduce the carbon footprint of the Audi fleet by 30 per cent across the entire lifecycle”.
Locally, Audi will be buying its energy certificates from the Capital Wind Farm in Canberra.
“You can certainly buy your energy cheaper, but we’ve taken that decision, as a leadership team here in Australia, because the more businesses that take this commitment, the cleaner the power grid is going to get,” Mr Sansom explained.
“By demonstrating leadership on this, we hope it encourages other businesses, from all sectors, to do the same, because the more demand there is for clean energy, the more will become available.”
Marcus Dorreen, spokesperson for Infigen Energy, the operator of the Capital Wind Farm, was also on hand for the e-tron launch.
“For those of us in the renewable-energy industry, it’s been a dream to see the future of zero-emission motoring become a reality,” he said.
“It’s quite an auspicious occasion. We all remember the first time we saw a CD, or a smartphone. We’re seeing today some of the first new electric vehicles from major manufacturers around the world.
“We’re incredibly excited to work with new partners like Audi.”