New Rumors in Germany: VW to Build EV Plant & Charging Network in USA

By Paul Gipe

Rumors are swirling in Germany that Volkswagen (VW), under pressure to reach a settlement with US and California regulators by March 24th, is considering the creation of two mitigation funds and possibly building a new factory in the US to build Electric Vehicles (EVs).

The rumors began when Bloomberg posted a report from a VW insider about the negotiations to settle VW’s breach of US and California environmental laws. However, the reporting in English differs from that in the German press.

The German press is widely reporting that the settlement may include a requirement that VW build a new assembly plant in the US solely to build EVs. This requirement is not in Bloomberg’s English version.

Settlement negotiations are said two include two mitigation funds: one for the US, the second for California. The German press reports that the mitigation fund for the US is to foster climate-friendly transportation throughout the country. The California mitigation fund is to be used to encourage emission-free cars in the state.

Süddeutsche Zeitung is reporting that the mitigation funds could be used to build a nationwide network of fast charging stations, a penalty that EV advocates in California have been urging. The German paper notes that the Obama administration will miss it EV targets in large part because of a lack of charging infrastructure and that a settlement with VW on charging infrastructure may be the miracle they are looking for.

The settlement will likely also include repair or replacement of all affected vehicles and payment for the nitrogen oxides emitted.

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