Although the now infamous VW dieselgate scandal has tapered somewhat, the news media has turned its full attention from rightfully highlighting what the company did wrong to now, what it is doing right, or at least, what it has been imposed to do to benefit all of us. There are indeed things to be thankful for regarding how the VW settlement funds are being allocated.
VW Settlement Funds Unwillingly Makes VW One Of Tomorrow’s Cleaner Electric Mobility Player
Ultimately, we judge people and companies not by the words said but by their actions. And when it comes to “green news,” we must put on our green goggles to filter out the pesky marketing nudges. But when it comes to deliverables right now in the green mobility department, traditional carmakers are woefully left behind, for the most part inundating us about future releases. Let’s face it: Too much dreaming and not enough deliverables today leave many of us hungry for more.
Nissan may be the exception to the rule, taking the diametrically opposite media strategy. Despite still selling SUV and pickup trucks, the company is also the #1 EV seller in the world in terms of historical sales, but few would know.
Finally, VW comes into the fray, reluctantly now a green poster child. Fast forwarding through the avoidable scandal, a new and improved VW is emerging, much as GM’s restructuring in 2011 led to a better company. Today’s GM is a stark contrast to the company that put itself first and used its brands as pawns. The new and improved GM swallowed the humility pill, rationalized its portfolio, and intelligently stepped behind its brands. VW seems to be taking the same strategy. VW’s astronomical settlement fines are being put to good use for everyone concerned.
Even the venerable Sierra Club has written about how VW’s settlement funds are intelligently allocated. The Sierra Club is essentially saying the company is paving the way for EVs in the US.
Volkswagen has to pay north of $15–22 billion in settlement funds, which include $2.7 billion to 50 US states for investment in clean transportation programs. It’s good to know most of this goes to help mitigate excess pollution from these cheating vehicle companies — it is being used wisely. See the Sierra Club’s dashboard here for a more comprehensive view.
In Conclusion, VW Cheating Was Ultimately A Good Thing
But seriously now, let’s not recreate it!
From charging stations to electric buses, and of course electric school buses (a must anywhere these days), the funds are also finding their way into the maritime world. We bet that VW would have had a much more conservative approach to stepping into the EV market, but corporate shenanigans have a way of precipitating the inevitable. 2008 global economic and auto crash as the birthplace of a hasty EV start, anyone? Isn’t that the time VW was coming out with its TDI “clean diesel” engines? Onward to a cleaner future with VW’s settlement funds.