The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants Volkswagen to make amends for its cheating ways on diesel emissions tests by manufacturing electric cars in the United States.
“U.S. authorities have asked the German carmaker Volkswagen to produce electric vehicles in the United States as a way of making up for its rigging of emission tests,” Reuters reports, citing the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
Germany’s largest carmaker admitted last year to rigging some 600,000 diesel cars in the U.S., 11 million world-wide, to conceal exhaust emissions that were up to 40 times the legal limit for nitrous oxide. “Reparations must be so large that Volkswagen or other companies will never again be tempted to cheat,” Clean Air Watch President Frank O’Donnell told Bloomberg.
Establishing an electric car manufacturing capability in the United States may not be Volkswagen’s only penance. Clean air groups have been pressuring the EPA for months to require the automaker to fund mitigation measures that will eliminate more pollution than the extra nitrogen oxides the rigged cars emitted.
In the 1990s, Bloomberg notes, “the Environmental Protection Agency forced truck manufacturers that had cheated on emissions tests to invest $1 billion in cleaner engines, among other things.”