Germany's energy crisis is trickling down to its industrial sector.
Volkswagen (VOW.DE) CEO Herbert Diess said the automaker is having to use coal instead of natural gas at the on-site power plants that provide energy to its factories in Germany.
Diess also warned that the company’s shift away from Russian energy as a result of the war in Ukraine isn't happening fast enough. Diess made the comments remotely today at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha.
“It’s going probably not fast enough” Diess said about the transition. “In the long run, I’m sure that we become independent from Russian gas.”
The energy crisis comes amid the EU's push forward with a green, carbon zero agenda, which seeks to end of all gas-powered car sales by 2035, among other goals.
Pressured by its domestic automakers, Germany has pushed back on the EU ban, but the writing is on the wall for changes coming to Europe. Diess said Volkswagen will continue its march toward electrification in an attempt to take on Tesla (TSLA) for EV domination.
In the past year, Volkswagen has introduced several new EV models, including the ID.4 and ID.Buzz, and is investing in a new EV plant at its massive Wolfsburg production facility.
Looking ahead, Diess said Volkswagen has an order book lined up for “roughly one year” and is on track to meet its 2022 EV targets.
Porsche IPO still on track
The automaker also had a positive update on Porsche and a potential spin-off.
At the Future of Finance summit in Frankfurt, also today, Bloomberg reported that Volkswagen CFO Arno Antlitz said an IPO of Porsche was on track for the fourth quarter of this year.
Antlitz noted the Porsche sports car and SUV business has been resilient over the years, even as external factors like the global pandemic and supply chain shortages hit the industry. This has made demand for a piece of Porsche ownership somewhat desirable for investors.
“There’s still capital out there and there’s a lot of skepticism about investing capital in technology companies, in new ventures,” Antlitz said, but that the Porsche business “is very solid.”