Audi has started using DB Schenker Rail’s Eco Plus CO2-free rail freight service for shipment of vehicles from its Ingolstadt plant in Germany to the port of Emden on the north coast of the country. It is the first company in Germany to use the Eco Plus service and expects to eliminate emissions of around 5,250 tons of CO2 per year.
The energy used to power the trains is replaced entirely renewable energy from Germany under the Eco Plus initiative introduced by the freight branch of Deutsche Bahn as part of the parent group’s Climate Protection Program 2020, which aims to reduce its CO2 emissions worldwide by an additional 20% between 2006 and 2020.
Audi is now using the service on its most important transport route, which brings approximately 150,000 vehicles per year to Emden for overseas export. DB Schenker Rail operates 625 trains along the Ingolstadt-Emden route on behalf of Audi.
“Choosing Eco Plus is a further important milestone in our environmental strategy,” explained Dr. Ernst-Hermann Krog, Head of Brand Logistics at Audi (pictured left). “Through this programme, we can avoid emissions right from the start.”
Three trains a day are loaded at Ingolstadt with Audi models including A3, A4 and A5 variants, as well as Q5 and S3, S4 and S5 models. Using the Eco Plus option the German carmaker is expecting to save more than 35kg of CO2 per car transported. It will mean a quarter of the finished vehicles Audi transports by rail will now avoid CO2 emissions altogether.
The additional costs of using Eco Plus are passed on from Deutsche Bahn to Audi.
The CO2-free transport option and energy procurement have been certified by the TÜV SÜD certification institute. Up to 10% of DB’s revenues from Eco Plus are put toward financing the construction of new renewable energy power plants.
Dr Karl-Friedrich Rausch, member of the management board of DB Mobility Logistics, responsible for Transportation and Logistics (pictured right), said: “We are delighted that Audi, one of our most important customers, is the first to make the switch to CO2-free rail transportation. Audi is sending a clear message!”