US Authorities Request VW Make Electric Cars

vwIt was hard to miss the VW scandal in the late half of 2015; Volkswagen was forced to admit to creating car software that allowed their diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests. The cars would realize when they were being tested, operate based on a different set of standards that allowed for them to pass the test, and then reset to their original settings.

To give an idea of the scope of this scandal, Volkswagen has announced that over one million vehicles have been equipped with this cheating software… in the UK alone. Around the world, millions of cars are fit for recall.

A study conducted by scientists funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered the software issue, and now US authorities are asking VW to produce electric vehicles in the United States as a way to partially make up for the illegal emissions being released into the air and potentially save some face as a brand within the country.

According to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, the EPA is currently holding meetings with Volkswagen regarding the company’s ability to produce electric vehicles at the VW plant centered in Chattanooga, Tennessee as well as its ability to set up a network of charging stations for electric vehicles in the United States.

Because a lot of VW models are already equipped with electric or hybrid motors, it’s not an enormous stretch to ask the company to take this turn in its business model. However, the amount of details that would need to be ironed out to make this work are of course, enormous.

“Talks with the EPA are ongoing and we are not commenting on the contents and state of the negotiations,” stated a VW spokesman. The EPA also declined to comment.

This coming April, VW is set to present its final report on the crisis to the law firm Jones Day.

Just to put a real number to the assault VW has conducted upon the world with its misleading products: according to Volkswagen, 11 million cars worldwide have the “defeat device” or cheating software.

vw gold“We’ve totally screwed up,” stated VW America boss Michael Horn when the scandal hit the media. The group’s chief executive at the time of the scandal, Martin Winterkorn, acknowledged that his company had “broken the trust of our customers and the public.” Winterkorn resigned after the scandal and was replaced by Matthias Mueller, former CEO of Porsche.

“My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group- by leaving no stone unturned,” Mueller stated upon taking up his new post.

Perhaps this productive punishment could be better for everyone; after all, the United States needs more electric car infrastructure and VW needs some way to regain the trust and appreciation of its American (and global) markets. It could be that this opportunity is actually a way for the somewhat antiquated company to get a leg up on the burgeoning electronic car market that other major manufacturers like Ford and General Motors are racing to get a piece of.

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