The Czech Ministry of the Environment and ŠKODA AUTO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase cooperation in the progressive reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and create an environment to ensure the long-term sustainable and competitive production of low– and zero-emission vehicles.
The MoU follows the European Green Deal which aims to reduce the environmental burden and increase the sustainability of industrial production.
“A thriving automotive industry is the foundation of the Czech economy,” said European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans. “It is therefore great to see the private sector and the government working closely together to push forward the green transformation in the Czech Republic.”
“The world of transport is rapidly moving towards an emission-free future and today’s agreement between the Czech Ministry of the Environment and ŠKODA AUTO shows that the Czech Republic is ready to seize the new opportunities that the transition to electromobility brings,” he added.
In the Memorandum, ŠKODA AUTO commits to a gradual reduction of GHG emissions in production with the aim of achieving climate neutrality at all its plants in the Czech Republic, in line with the Paris Agreement and EU targets. Specifically, it will implement measures to decarbonise and reduce the negative environmental impacts of industrial production in the Czech Republic in line with its NEXT LEVEL ŠKODA STRATEGY 2030 strategy.
“In order to successfully manage the transformation of our industry in the Czech Republic during this decade, we need the continued support of the European Union,” commented Klaus Zellmer, Chairman of the Board of Management of ŠKODA AUTO. “Over the next five years, we are investing a total of 5.6 billion euros in electromobility and a further 700 million euros in digitalisation.”
Role of the Czech government
In conjunction, the Ministry of the Environment is planning to propose and enforce legislative changes that will enable the required reduction in GHG emissions and other environmental impacts of passenger vehicle production. It will support the decarbonisation of industrial production in the Czech Republic from European and national sources and, in cooperation with other Ministries, will advocate for the development of public charging infrastructure for low– and zero-emission vehicles.
“Regardless of technology, the MoU has long supported the minimisation of emissions in transport,” stated the Minister of the Environment, Anna Hubáčková. “Our most recent activity in this regard is another call for the procurement of electric and hydrogen cars and charging stations for the public sector, running since June. Hand in hand with this, we are focusing on the development of renewable energy from the Modernisation Fund. This is evidenced by the two current calls with a total allocation of 4 billion Czech koruna (approximately 163 million euros) to support RES for municipalities, for which this can have a win-win effect. With our subsidy support, a new electric vehicle purchased by them can also serve as an ideal place to store energy, especially during the sunny summer months. We want our actions towards the public sector, industry and citizens to have a multiplier effect.”
The Memorandum also includes an emphasis on the development of research, development and innovation in the field of clean mobility. The Mladá Boleslav automotive company continues to support selected technical schools and apprenticeships to expand and improve the quality of education focused on modern passenger vehicle production. It will focus on sustainable water and electricity management as part of energy-saving measures. The company will also strive to develop a complete battery chain in the Czech Republic.
“Meaningful electromobility is not just about the production of electrified cars, but about the entire ecosystem of downstream services,” added Martin Jahn, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Sales and Marketing. “That is why we are supporting and helping to coordinate the construction of charging infrastructure and will focus on further increasing charging capacity in the coming period. This is the only way we can meet the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal.”
Dr Michael Oeljeklaus, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Production and Logistics added that the company is working to ensure that in the second half of the current decade, all the electricity for the Mladá Boleslav plant will come from renewable sources thanks to an investment of 112 million euros in the second half of the current decade.
“The Vrchlabí plant is already CO2-neutral from the end of 2020,” he emphasised. “Thanks to other measures, we have also managed to reduce water consumption at the Kvasiny plant by more than 40 per cent between 2010 and 2021 and we are working on a project to use water from municipal wastewater treatment plants.”