German automotive supplier Continental announces CO2-neutral production by 2040

Continental is planning to be CO2-neutral “in all of its production processes” by 2040, Elmar Degenhardt, chief executive officer (CEO) of the second largest automotive supplier in Germany, announced at the international motor show IAA in Frankfurt on Tuesday.

In addition, Degenhart was optimistic that the automotive industry would be able to achieve CO2-neutrality “across the entire supply chain” by 2050.

The automotive industry would need to be CO2-neutral by 2050 “at the latest”, which would be “feasible if business and politics tackle it together”, noted Degenhart.

At the IAA, one of the largest automotive trade fairs in the world, Degenhart urged the German government to relieve the tax burden on Germany’s automotive industry since “lower taxes and costs allow for higher investments and thus more innovations”.

In order to achieve carbon neutrality, Continental is aiming “in a first step” to solely use electricity from renewable energy sources in all of its production sites by the end of 2020 as well as to reduce its energy consumption by a fifth over the next 10 years in relation to the company’s turnover.

The German automotive supplier was also focusing on resource efficiency, waste reduction and “the sustainable use of water in regions where access to clean water is extremely difficult,” according Continental.

“Future mobility will be climate-friendly, as well as economically and socially viable,” said Degenhart at the IAA, adding that Continental’s aim was “to have technologies that are both eco-efficient and socially acceptable”.

Among other things, Continental is presenting an electric drive system at this year’s IAA which would reduce weight and cut costs for car manufacturers as well as “shorten the development time” of electric cars. The start of production of the electric powertrain system is scheduled by Continental to start in Europe and China at the end of 2019.