The recent $14.7 billion court settlement between Volkswagen (VW) and the federal government to settle allegations of cheating emissions tests and deceiving customers opens up new opportunities for expansion of the electric vehicle (EV) market. The terms of the VW settlement provide funding for the mitigation of pollution and investment in zero emissions vehicle technology. These funds, provided via a Trust, could act as a catalyst in broadening the electric vehicle market nationwide, including heavy duty EVs. This article provides the perspective of Vermont Energy Investment Corporations (VEIC), focusing on one potential application of this trust funding, electric school buses.
Value for Electric Cooperatives
The influx of $2.7 billion for investment from the VW Settlement’s environmental Mitigation Trust offers an opportunity for the nation’s electric cooperatives. As cooperatives are evaluating their beneficial electrification programs, this Settlement provides an opportunity worth considering. Trust resources must produce environmental benefits — particularly clean air benefits. Because of their clean energy and clean air characteristics, heavy duty EVs may be a good fit for state plans for these funds. In addition, using VW Settlement funds to advance transportation electrification creates an opportunity for accelerating an emerging win-win for rural and semi-rural utilities; benefitting both co-ops and the communities they serve.
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