The Volkswagen Group is systematically driving e-mobility forward. By 2025, it plans to build and sell three million all-electric cars per year. By then, the portfolio of the Group brands is to be extended by around 80 new electrified vehicles – including 50 purely electrically powered models. The new era is being ushered in by the launch of the ID.3, which can now be ordered in advance since 20 July. As promoter of sales for the Volkswagen Group, Volkswagen Financial Services have also extended their range of services for private customers, individual commercial customers and fleet customers in recent months to include various electromobility modules.
To give the greatest possible tailwind to electric mobility, Volkswagen Financial Services are counting on their ID Lifetime concept. The focus here is on the sale of electric vehicles via leasing as the form of procurement – not only for the first vehicle lifecycle, but also for the second. The goal is to keep the vehicles in the company's own portfolio as long as possible through leasing contracts and to control their further marketing. The fundamental idea behind it is to lease the vehicles not only as new, but also as used cars. "We are convinced that in this way we can inspire a great deal of confidence in the new technology among customers over many years. This is because, with leasing, they do not need to worry about the condition of the battery or the general value of the vehicle at the end of the contract," says Jens Legenbauer, Chairman of the Management Board of Volkswagen Leasing GmbH. "The only thing that counts is use. We take care of everything else." Moreover, by regularly changing their vehicles, customers can always rely on having the latest technology since they can opt for a new vehicle straight away at the end of the leasing contract.
Specifically for the ID.3, Volkswagen Financial Services have developed a special package structure for private customers and individual commercial customers based on the familiar clothing sizes S, M and L. The service modules integrated within this product, such as maintenance, inspections or wear-and-tear repairs, are tailored in a modular fashion to customer requirements. This gives customers maximum cost transparency. The packages are being offered in 13 European countries to coincide with the start of advance sales for the ID.3.
The car insurance company Volkswagen Autoversicherung is offering a very special advantage for customers. It is granting a special discount of 25 percent on third-party liability and comprehensive cover for the ID.3. Moreover, the insurance provided is specifically tailored to e-vehicles. It includes features like all-risks coverage for the battery as well as protection against theft of the charging cable during the charging process or protection against damage to electrical components as a result of overvoltage.
The Lease&Care packages for private customers at a glance:
|Package S||Maintance & inspections1||-||-|
|Package M||Maintance & inspections1||Essential wear-and-tear repairs2||-|
|Package L||Maintance & inspections1||Essential wear-and-tear repairs2||Winter wheel and tire sets3|
1 An offer from Volkswagen Leasing GmbH for private customers as part of the Maintenance & Inspection service. The monthly contribution covers the costs for extensive maintenance and inspection work according to manufacturer specifications, including wages and materials.
2 An offer from Volkswagen Leasing GmbH for private customers as part of the WartungPlus (MaintenancePlus) service. The monthly contribution covers the costs for extensive maintenance and inspection work according to manufacturer specifications as well as the costs for essential wear-and-tear repairs, including wages and materials.
3 An offer from Volkswagen Leasing GmbH for private customers within the framework of the ReifenPremium Winter (TirePremium Winter) service, according to quantity required.
Electric mobility and fleet business: A big lever
Vehicle fleets play a fundamental role in the market ramp-up of electric vehicles. In Germany around 60 percent of new registrations are for commercial and business use. Large vehicle fleets are therefore a key driver for establishing the new technology on the market. Since corporate customers mostly lease their vehicles instead of buying them, these quickly return to the market as young used vehicles. While e-vehicles are becoming increasingly interesting for fleet managers from the point of view of overall costs due to the combination of the various subsidy options available, company car drivers benefit from a reduction in their taxable non-cash benefit of up to 0.25 percent of the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).
In contrast to private customers, however, the conversion to e-mobility is much more complicated for a small to medium-sized company or large corporation. This is because car policies have to be adjusted, charging infrastructure established, billing solutions implemented and company car drivers convinced of the merits. Volkswagen Financial Services have created the "Blue Fleet" label to help fleet managers with this complex task. It includes all activities and services related to e-mobility for fleet customers. "We know that switching to e-mobility is a major undertaking for many of our commercial customers. That's why we offer them all the activities necessary to set up and operate an e-fleet from within our Group," Legenbauer points out. These include the traditional full-service leasing modules, but also the Charge&Fuel Card (see below). Extensive consulting services are also provided and corporate customers can use special tools to analyze the extent to which their fleet is "e-ready". These tools have already been successfully implemented in Great Britain and well received by the customers. In addition, all key account managers can provide an initial fleet analysis considered under the aspect of e-mobility. If the customer then needs further help and support, the e-specialists from the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand and from Elli, the Group's own provider of energy and charging solutions, come into play (www.elli.eco). Together with the fleet manager, they can then develop a concept for the electrification of the customer's site and fleet.
Moreover, Volkswagen Financial Services are cooperating with the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) within the Blue Fleet program. Under this initiative, Volkswagen Financial Services are planning to achieve an ideally positive balance of CO2 emissions during the first leasing term of e-vehicles in their portfolio. Although these vehicles do not emit any CO2 emissions during their operation directly, the charging current that is used must also be taken into account. Because of the electricity mix that exists in Germany, this is not always derived from renewable energy sources. Therefore, in proportion to the extent that vehicles in the company's leasing portfolio are actually used, Volkswagen Financial Services are investing in specific NABU climate protection projects – such as the renaturation of the Sulinger Moor near Bremen.
Easy access to the charging infrastructure
An electric vehicle without electricity would be like a combustion engine without fuel. Easy access to the charging infrastructure is therefore essential to establish electromobility on the market. This is exactly the reason why Volkswagen Financial Services developed the Charge&Fuel Card in 2014. With the combination of app and charge card, customers in Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium can charge up with electricity at around 117,000 charging points and fill up with fuel at more than 17,000 LogPay acceptance points throughout Europe. The Charge&Fuel app has an easy-to-use search function to find the next charging station and provides information about which charging type and mode is available and whether the charging point is currently occupied or not. "With the Charge&Fuel Card, we have created a solution that enables customers to conveniently drive to lots of charging stations, initiate the charging process and pay for it," says Legenbauer.
Leasing and financing charging infrastructure is also possible through Volkswagen Financial Services. Private customers interested in one of the three charging station variants available in the Elli webshop (www.elli.eco) can select Volkswagen Bank's ComfortCredit directly during the ordering process.
For fleet customers, switching to e-mobility often means that they first have to invest in new operating equipment and set up a charging park. This involves considerable investment. To help their customers with exactly this problem, Volkswagen Financial Services have acquired a stake in Digital Mobility Leasing GmbH. This gives customers the opportunity to lease charging infrastructure. That means they do not have to tie up any capital, can ease the strain on their liquidity and therefore increase their financial flexibility. Alternatively, customers can also take out an investment loan of EUR 100,000 or more with Volkswagen Bank to finance charging infrastructure. Volkswagen Financial Services activities to assist their customers also focus on advising them on how to take advantage of public funding such as KfW loans or regional subsidies. "With the combination of our various services to meet the individual needs of our customer groups, we offer a very good overall package to help make e-mobility a success," Legenbauer is convinced.