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March 19, 2019 | VW Moving from Emissions Fraudster to EV Leader

Danielle Park

Portfolio Manager and President of Venable Park Investment Counsel ( Ms Park is a financial analyst, attorney, finance author and regular guest on North American media. She is also the author of the best-selling myth-busting book "Juggling Dynamite: An insider's wisdom on money management, markets and wealth that lasts," and a popular daily financial blog:

In 2015 it was revealed that Volkswagen (along with many other manufacturers) had been cheating emissions standards in its diesel vehicles.  To date, the fraud has cost the company over 27 billion euros in penalties and fines, as well as the arrest of a couple of top executives.  The cost to our air quality, health and the environment are still compounding of course, with damage suits likely to continue for a very long time.

To reform their public image and reboot sales, VW announced in December that it would discontinue production of all internal combustion engines by 2026 and focus solely on electric vehicles (EVs).  This month, they took another leadership step in disclosing  that they will leave a major auto lobby group if it does not stop promoting policies to slow the adoption of EV’s.  Evidently, VW is no longer willing to support duplicitous agendas on emissions and is publicly calling out other companies to do the same.

The story gives the public a glimpse of the hypocrisy inherent as big autos tout fuel efficiency and conscientious designs while lying about emissions and lobbying against the transition to less polluting technology.  See VW threatens to exit important auto lobbying group over EV policies:

Automakers have promoted policies to slow down the adoption of electric vehicles through lobbying groups for years.

Most recently, automakers associations have pushed against efforts to increase average fuel economy, which would have forced EVs to be built in higher volume.

Interestingly, several automakers were claiming to be ‘all-in on electric cars’ while indirectly supporting those lobbying efforts…

When GM was announcing their plan to go “all-in on electric vehicles”, a lobbying group they supported was pressuring the EPA and the Trump administration to walk back Obama-era fuel consumption requirements that would have forced them to make more EVs.

The best antidote to corruption and unethical practices is transparency and public ire. Every time one of these scandals hits the light of day, the more likely progress happens.

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March 19th, 2019

Posted In: Juggling Dynamite

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