California Gets Specific about How Volkswagen Will Atone for Its Dirty Diesels
As part of the $14.7 billion settlement with U.S. owners along with also also regulators over its emissions-cheating scandal, Volkswagen has to log some public service—10 years of the item, to the tune of at least $2 billion of investments supporting electric vehicles.
While the settlement lays out how along with also also when the automaker will make Great with the U.S. EPA, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) can be a separate entity, along with also also the item’s getting 40 percent of which make-Great cash, or $800 million. So the Golden State has launched into a process of laying some additional ground rules—or at the very least, some strong guidelines—over how VW can be to spend which money.
To which end, CARB has put together a list of priorities, which the item calls California’s Initial Guiding Principles for VW ZEV [Zero-Emission Vehicle] Investments. Those were revealed last week. Later This kind of week, on December 8, there will be a board hearing. Until December 16, the whole issue can be open for public comment.
The California agency specifies which 25 percent of the funds should go toward programs serving disadvantaged communities. some other California-centric examples include programs which scrap older vehicles along with also also replace them with ZEVs, provide zero-emission transit services, or involve ride-hailing services which serve disadvantaged communities. The agency also asks which VW’s investments “demonstrate corporate social responsibility along with also also a cradle-to-grave sustainable business case.”
Priorities for infrastructure in California include workplace charging points, charging stations for multi-unit dwellings, along with also also solutions which fill gaps in charging infrastructure at public places such as airports along with also also hospitals. CARB also points to projects which might expand ZEV technology to medium- along with also also heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Experiential marketing—ride-along with also also-drive events along with also also displays—can be included from the project, the agency notes, as are autonomous-car demonstrations, provided which the autonomous car can be a ZEV.
VW Will Fund Nationwide Electric-Vehicle Education
There’s already a lot of structure along with also also accountability built into the settlement as the item applies both to California along with also also the federal government. The money can’t cover projects which are directly to the benefit only of VW—such as placing chargers at its dealerships. along with also also VW can’t spend less than $25 million or more than $50 million of the item on “brand-neutral media activities” for ZEVs—such as websites, print ads, maybe even radio PSAs. along with also also any programs which increase public exposure to ZEVs or put them into an underserved area through rental fleets or car sharing need to be approved in writing by the EPA.
The hefty Consent Decree—the document which details all the settlement provisions—also requires an ankle bracelet of sorts: VW must make annual National ZEV Investment Reports which update the federal government on activities along with also also projects, spending, along with also also utilization rates for the brand-new infrastructure.
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So far, This kind of can be only part of the settlement, applying to Volkswagen’s four-cylinder diesels. In late November, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer delayed a hearing over the some other engine, Audi’s V-6 TDI, which was used in about 80,000 VW, Porsche, along with also also Audi vehicles from the United States—because the delay “may produce a resolution of the outstanding issues.”
Volkswagen must provide its Draft ZEV Investment Plan to California by February 22, 2017. Whatever form the item eventually takes, the item’s a sure bet which VW’s dirty diesels will end up financing major public initiatives promoting EVs.