EPA may force VW to build EVs in US as 'penalty' for diesel scandal
According to Welt am Sonntag, a German newspaper, there have been discussions between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and VW that would get the automaker to make EVs at its plant in Chattanooga, TN. VW would also have to spend money improving the EV charging infrastructure in the US. Reuters says that a VW spokesperson said, "Talks with the EPA are ongoing and we are not commenting on the contents and state of the negotiations," and the EPA declined to comment.
Getting VW to make more EVs was an obvious way for VW to do penance for its lies to regulators and the public, according to environmental groups and EV leaders like Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, who suggested just such a thing in December. The idea that VW focus on electric power to get away from its long association with TDI and "clean diesel" has also been suggested many times since the scandal broke in September.
VW's Chattanooga plant has been in the news recently for local unionization efforts, but the plant is a good location for VW to refocus its green efforts. It is LEED Platinum certified and there is a giant solar field nearby providing power. Shifting production of vehicles like the e-Golf to the US would not be easy, but it would go a long ways towards giving the automaker a specific, public place to display its green turnaround.
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