VW's diesel scandal settlement worries EV charging companies

28 companies sign a letter calling on the DOJ calling to appoint an independent monitor.

A big part of Volkswagen's emissions-cheating settlement involves a $2-billion investment – $1.2 billion nationwide and $800 million in California – into zero-emissions infrastructure. While a cash infusion this big is good, the impact of VW's settlement is worrying companies at the heart of the burgeoning EV charging industry.

According to Reuters, 28 companies banded together in a letter to the US Department of Justice, calling on the government to appoint an independent administrator to monitor the settlement, which the letter called a potential "game changer" for the industry. They're concerned that VW could manipulate the investment to hurt competition – appointing an admin will ensure VW treats everyone in the industry fair, the letter, obtained by Reuters, read.

""The agreement shouldn't pick winners and losers."

"The agreement shouldn't pick winners and losers, especially given that this emerging market transition will in no small part define 21st century transportation," the letter said. "The program should be structured to benefit drivers in California and across the nation, not enable the settling defendants to enter or influence the markets for [zero-emission vehicle] charging and fueling equipment and services."

Along with calling for an independent administrator, the same companies requested that some of the $2B settlement go towards incentives for business and residential customers that install charging systems.

The timing of this letter is no coincidence. Volkswagen still hasn't released its plans for its zero-emissions investment and the EV charging industry was probably keen to make its voice heard before investment details go public.

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