This week’s automotive headlines – 26 February 2022

26 February 2022

Autovista24 looks at some of the biggest headlines in the automotive industry from the past seven days. In this week’s round-up, Porsche and Volkswagen Group move closer to an IPO, Tesla slapped with emissions fine, Australian government offers new funding for zero-emission vehicles, and more…

Porsche and Volkswagen move closer to an IPO

Volkswagen (VW) Group, along with its top shareholder Porsche Automobil Holding SE, have announced details of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the Porsche brand. If formalised, the deal would form one of the largest global stock market debuts. VW Group has confirmed it has negotiated a framework agreement in preparation of the IPO, which is mooted to reach completion by the end of 2022. ‘Volkswagen is tackling the decisive years of transformation with clear focus and vigour, said Jörg Hofmann, deputy chairman of the supervisory board of Volkswagen AG. ‘This also includes seizing the potential that a changed structure of the group could offer. That is precisely what we have agreed on. The premise of all considerations is that Volkswagen’s innovative power must be strengthened in order to expand its competitive edge in the vital issues of the future. All stakeholders will benefit from this – including the employees.’ Oliver Blume, chairman of the Eexecutive board of Porsche AG commented: ‘We welcome this decision of Volkswagen AG. Porsche is a strong brand with a robust business model and a worldwide fan community. We also pursue ambitious sustainability goals. For example, Porsche plans to achieve a neutral CO2 balance in 2030. Porsche and Volkswagen can continue to benefit from joint synergies in the future.’

Australia’s new funding for zero-emission fleet vehicles


The Australian government has announced the roll out of the Future Fuels Fund, in what will be the second round of funding intended to help fleet operators move from internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to zero-emission electrically-chargeable vehicles (EVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). Round two of the Future Fuels Fund is part of a wider Australian Government initiative called the Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy. It has been confirmed that AUS $127.9 million (€82.2 million) will be available to light-vehicle fleet operators to integrate BEVs, and heavy fleet operators to integrate battery electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. This initiative is a technology-led approach aimed at reducing emissions in the transport sector, via funding and partnerships with industry, to give Australian consumers and businesses greater confidence to purchase low-emission vehicles that suit their business needs.

Norwegian Green Platform funding

The Norwegian government’s Green Platform Initiative has approved an injection of around €9.8 million to support a consortium of companies to provide a platform to establish sustainable battery production. Centrally, the main aim of the platform is to reduce environmental footprints along the battery value chain from the production of active battery materials to cell production, including modelling of battery downgrading, safety and recycling. Funded specifically by the Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway, and Siva, it includes Norwegian firms specialising in a variety of engineering disciplines spanning silicon and carbon-based materials, graphite and aluminium and battery manufacturers for a variety of applications. Battery developer Freyer is a part of the consortium, and the company, which are developing a gigafactory in Finland, secured financing to build Norway’s first lithium-ion battery cell facility. Jan Arve Haugan, president and managing director, Freyr Battery Norway, stated: ‘support from the Norwegian Green Platform initiative sends a strong signal from the Norwegian authorities that batteries are a key strategic focus area to decarbonise our energy and transportation systems. Together with the industry partners and the authorities, we will be able to move faster and make an even stronger impact.’

Innovation Automotive team up with the AA

UK-based EV sales company Innovation Automotive have teamed up with the national automotive breakdown service the AA to supply the organisation with fully-electric vans. Yellow AA vans are a distinctive and familiar sight on the UK’s roads, and the partnership with Innovation Automotive will see the company use their DFSK EC35 electric compact panel van, accompanied with a three-year roadside assistance package and a five-year/75,000-mile warranty. ‘We are delighted to be partnering with Innovation Automotive by providing roadside assistance from our 5-star Patrols who are all EV trained,’ commented AA president, Edmund King. ‘The AA offers a range of services to drivers wherever they are on the road to electrification and look forward to offering power and confidence to Innovation Automotive electric drivers.’

EPA and Tesla settle over factory emissions

Tesla have been found to be in violation of federal clean air laws in the US, according to an announcement from the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Officially known as the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Surface Coating of Automobiles, the violations span a period from October 2016 to September 2019, stemming from Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, and the indiscretion will cost the US carmaker $275,000 (€244,706). ‘Enforcement action against Tesla reflects EPA’s continued commitment to ensure compliance with federal clean air laws,’ said EPA Pacific Southwest regional administrator Martha Guzman. ‘EPA takes seriously every company’s obligation to safeguard our environment and protect our most vulnerable communities.’