VW may have to spend some of its $800M diesel scandal fund to advertise other brands in California

But it can say, 'sponsored by Volkswagen.'

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One of the most controversial parts of the Vollkswagen diesel scandal settlement is turning out to be the $2 billion fund VW has to invest in to promote electric vehicles. Since that money includes infrastructure investment, a lot of players already in the scene got a little worried, but Nissan took the position that the money can only help. VW isn't saying anything bad about the fund, and we learned recently that the company will be allowed to make money off of this investment, just like any other.

Which brings us to today, and a new request for comments from the California Air Resources Board. Since $800 million of the $2 billion needs to be spent in California, CARB wants to hear from people about how it should be spent. The $800 million will be spent over 10 years, divided up into four, 30-month cycles, and needs to meet four goals. According to the new CARB document, these are:
  • Support transportation electrification
  • Support the next generation of zero-emission vehicles
  • Grow the State's burgeoning ZEV market
  • Support access to ZEVs, including for low- and moderate- income consumers in disadvantaged communities
There will be four eligible ZEV investment categories: ZEV Infrastructure, brand-neutral education and public awareness campaigns, ZEV access improvements for all California consumers, and a Green City initiative. For those ad campaigns, the $800 million can not be spent to, "feature or favor VW vehicles or services," but the ads can say, "sponsored by Volkswagen." The part about increasing access to EVs has an option that sounds a lot like Hyundai's just-announced Ioniq Unlimited program. VW can spend money to, "[make] consumer ZEV access possible without purchase or lease," which doesn't have to be a subscription model, but if sure could be. CARB is also suggesting that, "a significant percentage (25%) of the funds should be dedicated to investments that serve disadvantaged communities," which could mean $200 million worth of EV ride sharing options, multi-brand EV ride and drives, or more EV chargers in poorer communities. CARB also believes that hydrogen should be part of the mix, saying that, "VW should be strongly encouraged to include hydrogen fueling investment."

What do you want to see? You have until December 16th to tell CARB which of these proposals you like and don't like. VW has to share its plan with CARB by February 17th, 2017. You can download the PDF for yourself here of read it below.

VW Diesel Scandal $800M ZEV Investment in California Suggestions by AutoblogGreen on Scribd

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