Volkswagen Forced To Launch 3 ZEVs In California By 2019, Including 1 SUV

4 weeks ago by Eric Loveday 44

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Seems perfectly Suited For California

The Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal and associated lawsuits, penalties, etc. has led to VW being forcefully pushed into the ZEV segment.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer has signed off on Consent Decrees against Volkswagen. These decrees include:

“Volkswagen will pay $225 million, including $66 million to California, for harm resulting from the sale of its 3.0-liter diesel passenger cars that included emissions control “defeat devices.”

“U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer signed the agreements between the automaker, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (US DOJ). One decree is a national agreement; the second is California-specific. California will receive $41 million from the national agreement and $25 million under the California agreement.”

But that’s not all.

Volkswagen I.D. Crozz Electric CUV

In addition to monetary pay outs, Volkswagen will be forced to launch three ZEVs in California by 2019. Here’s the wording on that from the California Air Resources Board:

“In addition, VW will contribute to California’s ZEV market by introducing two new ZEV models, plus the electric e-Golf, or its replacement, by 2019. One of those new vehicles must be an electric SUV. The company will also introduce a second SUV by 2020. It must collectively sell at least 35,000 of these various ZEV models between 2019 and 2025.”

How sweet is that?

We suspect that the vehicles to be launched to meet these new California-enforced mandates will include several of the various Volkswagen I.D. concepts we’ve seen over the years, plus an all-new e-Golf.

Volkswagen I.D. Hatchback Concept

Volkswagen I.D. Crozz Concept

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Concept

Volkswagen I.D. – Coming in 2020, apparently with 600km (373 miles) of range*

There’s this last requirement in the release from CARB too:

“VW also agrees to place a second Green City project in California. This could include such features as zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) ridesharing projects or ZEV transit and freight applications. The selected city must have a population of about 500,000 and consist primarily of disadvantaged communities. A first Green City was called out in the Consent Decree for the 2.0 liter vehicles. No city has yet been named.”

Press release from the California Air Resources Board below:

Federal court approves $225 million settlement in VW 3.0 liter, diesel cheating case

California to receive $66 million for mitigation and clean car investment

SACRAMENTO – Volkswagen will pay $225 million, including $66 million to California, for harm resulting from the sale of its 3.0-liter diesel passenger cars that included emissions control “defeat devices,” under partial Consent Decrees signed today.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer signed the agreements between the automaker, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (US DOJ). One decree is a national agreement; the second is California-specific. California will receive $41 million from the national agreement and $25 million under the California agreement.

“These agreements close another chapter in one of the most sordid efforts to evade air quality regulations ever uncovered by CARB’s engineers and technicians,” said CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey. “It is now time to get on with the serious business of mitigating the environmental harm caused in this case, and continue our efforts to make sure nothing like this occurs again.”

VW admitted to CARB engineers in November 2015 that it installed “defeat devices” that altered the operation of emissions control equipment in light-duty, 3.0-liter passenger vehicles manufactured and sold between model years 2009 and 2016. There are approximately 87,000 of these vehicles in the US and about 17,000 in California.

This is a separate partial consent decree from one approved earlier for harm from VW’s 2.0-liter diesel cars with a similar defeat device.

California will receive about $41 million from the national mitigation trust for the environmental damage caused by VW’s deception. This money will be spent on projects to reduce smog-producing pollution, such as incentivizing clean, heavy-duty vehicles and equipment in disadvantaged communities. In a separate California decree, an additional $25 million dollars will be invested to advance availability of cleaner vehicles in California’s disadvantaged communities. The two sums together will provide funding to mitigate all past and future environmental harm resulting from the operation of the 3.0-liter vehicles in California.

The state will undertake a public process to allow members of the Legislature and the public to provide input and comments on potential mitigation projects to be funded by the settlement.

VW also agrees to place a second Green City project in California. This could include such features as zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) ridesharing projects or ZEV transit and freight applications. The selected city must have a population of about 500,000 and consist primarily of disadvantaged communities. A first Green City was called out in the Consent Decree for the 2.0 liter vehicles. No city has yet been named.

In addition, VW will contribute to California’s ZEV market by introducing two new ZEV models, plus the electric e-Golf, or its replacement, by 2019. One of those new vehicles must be an electric SUV. The company will also introduce a second SUV by 2020. It must collectively sell at least 35,000 of these various ZEV models between 2019 and 2025.

Background

Following publication of a report indicating high emissions from Volkswagen vehicles in over-the-road testing, CARB conducted a focused investigation which ultimately led to Volkswagen’s admission in September 2015 that the company had installed defeat devices in all of its 2.0 liter diesel vehicles manufactured between model years 2009 and 2015.
This was followed in November 2015 by an admission by Audi engineers that 3.0 liter diesel passenger cars manufactured by VW, Audi and Porsche in model years 2009-2016 also contain defeat devices. VW owns all three manufacturers.

Affected 3.0 diesel models include:
• 2009 VW Touareg, Audi Q7
• 2010 VW Touareg, Audi Q7
• 20011 VW Touareg, Audi Q7
• 2012 VW Touareg, Audi Q7
• 2013 VW Touareg, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne Diesel
• 2014 VW Touareg, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne Diesel
• 2014 Audi A6, A7, A8, A8L, Q5
• 2015 Audi Q7, A6, A7, A8, A8L, Q5
• 2015 VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne Diesel
• 2016 VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne Diesel, Audi A6, A7, A8, A8L, Q5

Because CARB’s technical staff played a chief role in revealing VW’s deceit, and due to CARB’s longstanding role in setting and enforcing tough vehicle standards, California played a major role in leading, shaping and structuring the Consent Decrees.
In California, VW’s cheating was particularly harmful, because our air quality is worse than anywhere else in the nation. Ten million people live within the nation’s only severe nonattainment areas for ozone pollution, of which NOx is a primary component. Twelve million Californians live in areas with nation-leading levels of fine particle pollution.

These pollutants cause lung disease, heart disease, and premature death, especially among our most vulnerable populations. To put California on track to ensure healthy air for all, California has adopted the most stringent air quality regulatory and enforcement program in the United States.

As a result of the 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter Consent Decrees, California is expected to be allocated a total of about $423 million from an Environmental Mitigation Trust, explained in the first Consent Decree. That money is to mitigate the lifetime excess NOx emissions of the VW vehicles with the defeat device. Under the terms of the Consent Decree VW must invest $800 million for zero-emission vehicle projects in California over a 10-year period.

The approved 3.0 liter partial Consent Decrees are here: https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/vw_info/vw-diesel-info/2017-05-17-2nd-partial-cd-30l.pdf

CARB’s VW Information Page is here: https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/vw_info/vw-diesel-info/vw-diesel-info.htm

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44 responses to "Volkswagen Forced To Launch 3 ZEVs In California By 2019, Including 1 SUV"

  1. Rob Stark says:

    Compliance cars tend not to be very sweet.

    If VW only plans to sell 35k units between now and 2025 then there is not a lot of money for engineering and tooling.

    Hopefully this just represents a drop in the bucket and VW does plan to start manufacturing a million BEVs per year by 2025

    1. David Murray says:

      It depends on how you look at it. Sometimes the compliance cars are pretty good because they don’t have to be profitable. For example, the Spark EV was better than the gas version. The Fiat 500e is supposed to be pretty good too.

      1. RAV4 EV says:

        My RAV4 EV is a compliance vehicle and it is Damm Sweet

        1. Rob Stark says:

          Anything with Tesla Inside is sweet.

          But Tesla doesn’t owe any legacy automaker any more favors.

        2. Martin T. says:

          Yes it’s a Toyota or the newer one with Tesla inside.
          Lucky it ain’t no VW 😉

      2. Rob Stark says:

        Spark EV and 500e is only pretty good if you live inside the green car ghetto.

      3. unlucky says:

        The Fiat 500e is not pretty good except for the price.

        It’s a factory conversion. They hot glue a TomTom to the dash and put buttons in the shifter location.

        It’s usable and for a very low price it’s a lot of car. But it’s not really a good car.

  2. Brandon says:

    In my mind it makes sense that EVs will be virtually totally practical for mainstream consumers by 2019-2020, because by then especially in California there will be good HPFC infrastructure coverage that will enable freedom of travel.

  3. Hauer says:

    What does “introducing” mean.
    VW will not be able to ship the 3 models in 2019.

    1. Serial anti tesla troll thomas says:

      Why wouldn’ it possible? This week there was a article in a German Newspaper from a reporter who participate at a VW test drive. So VW is already testing on the roads.

  4. Aaron says:

    Even liberally-minded me thinks this borders on government overreach.

    1. KevinZ says:

      I agree. Wouldn’t it be ironic if this led to VW becoming a leader in BEVs, putting the hurt on American companies like Tesla, GM, and Ford?

      1. William says:

        That would be an interesting twist of fate in the EV profitability segment. GM is leading with compelling range and technology, currently with the Bolt, among the ICE OEMs. It may not be for long, as other non-Tesla launches are coming in the next 6-12 months. VW has a lot of catching up to do, “IF” VW can actually produce an EV segment leading vehicle.

    2. terminaltrip421 says:

      you think outlawing them from selling vehicles would be the better approach? or maybe no accountability whatsoever? “oh you f-ed up? don’t do it again!”

    3. SteveSeattle says:

      This is a settlement. I am sure that VW proposed these models as they were already in development. This solution is preferable to VW than handing over cash. Even if they do not make money on these vehicles it is R&D money well spent. The move towards EV is looking inevitable.

    4. Mark.ca says:

      Aaron,
      Maybe they should have been given a gov bailout for their good behavior. VW got off easy on this one. Good thing that the gov had the balls to step in and stop them otherwise a bad precedent would have been created.

    5. pjwood1 says:

      Overreach: Knowingly placing defeat devices in cars you sold as “Clean”, and then doing a Park & Protest (against the EV rebate) in Washington.

      https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSxzMgEwibiyI-jMFOo1WFVQrPAMgKMwdXPsubn6_JEBcmB63vPGA

    6. DJ says:

      Ya, I agree. I also wonder what “by 2019” means. Does that mean they must all be on sale before 1/1/2019?

      My lease is up Dec 2018 so I’d like to know 😀

      1. Mark.ca says:

        In the same boat here. I would really like to see the I.D. before i go for M3.

  5. Rad says:

    Perhaps VW proposed the three EV models that they were already working on to the courts as their “penalty”.

    I agree, 35,000 over seven years equals 5000 per year or just over 400 a month. Definitely compliance levels.

    However, don’t knock compliance. Some day in the future when plug-ins are selling a million a year and the car company decides to make a real EV, they will at least have their foot in the door.

    1. Josh Bryant says:

      Bingo. If WV didn’t already have the BEVs in development, they couldn’t get them done on this schedule.

      I am sure WV offered this up as a bargaining chip to hold of some other clause that would have hurt more.

      They would have needed to do this to comply with ZEV standard anyway, unless they just planned to buy credits.

    2. terminaltrip421 says:

      these would be california-only numbers. not that that’s much better but most of the monthly numbers we get here are nationwide. and 400 a month is certainly better than some of the other vehicles.

  6. David Lane says:

    Volkswagon Group includes Audi, so might these include Audi branded EVs?

    1. fpk says:

      I agree. The Settlement seems to be for the Volkswagen group, not only the Volkswagen brand. Therefor the mentioned electric SUV will very likely be the Audi etron. Even the Porsche Mission E might be counted.
      From all that has been published by VW only the ID hatchback will be ready befor 2020.

  7. F150 Brian says:

    Oh what a punishment. Basically saying please do what everyone will be doing in the next few years.

    35,000 collectively by 2025? Even a total flop could meet that with discounts.

    Government should just downsize and stop wasting so much of the taxpayers money.

  8. Someone out there says:

    I think that is a bad idea to force them to produce a specific product. That will just result in them doing the least possible effort to fulfill the deal.
    They could have given them a CARB credit penalty instead. Let’s say they would have to make an additional 50000 CARB credits that will be forfeit.

    1. Vexar says:

      That is a solid suggestion! You should write into CARB with that comment. Sharpen the proverbial regulatory stick, don’t make a new one.

      Realistically, if the diesel VW Group vehicles produced 20x to 30x more pollution, then for every unit which was non-compliant, impose a ZEV unit requirement of 20x. That way, VW Group can either buy their way out of this hole to the point that it is not economically feasible for them to dodge this ZEV program with cash alone, or they suddenly have a major incentive to build and sell ZEV vehicles in California.

    2. terminaltrip421 says:

      do you think it would be more cost effective to sell a compliance vehicle rather than a true marketing push? there has got to come a point where the return on investment would be greater by selling a market-leading vehicle.

  9. Victor says:

    VW will do what they have to do to comply with this decree, no more no less. Previously I said none of these EV prototypes will ever see production. I would like to revise that. Three of them will go into production by 2019 and they will be sold in California. They will be compliance cars and I do believe they will be sold in other states and people Will say, “they can’t be compliance cars because they are sold in other states.”

  10. M3 reserved says:

    Come live in Cali. The sun is nice, and the taxes and regulations are high.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      Yeah, what’s up with all these regulations…I mean these big corporations are all for the people’s welfare…I mean, what do they have to do to prove it…just trust then, k!

  11. terminaltrip421 says:

    it’s understandable but a shame that there is so much skepticism. perhaps channel that energy into letting VW know that you want them to produce non-compliance-level electric vehicles and that they owe us that.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      I don’t think anybody’s found the “VW Listens” channel, accept Stephen Breyer.

  12. OCRyan says:

    I don’t understand these comments about “government overreach” or “California High Regulations”. VW did something bad, very bad. It was likely criminal in fact. The article here uses language like “Forces”, however these are consent decrees. This is not the result of a trial and this is the punishment phase. CARB, EPA, DOJ, and VW basically all entered a room and said, “okay how do we make this go away”. This is what was settled on. It could very well be that VW dictated the terms of this agreement. Something like, “look we already have these four compliance cars in the pipeline, how about we add that in to make it look good.”

    VW could have disagreed and went to trial, but they didn’t. This was an agreement between parties.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      Americans are so brainwashed that the corporations have them believe there should be no punishment for anything illegal they do…make up your fricking mind, are corporations people? ….because if they are i have a few i want to put my foot up their ash.

  13. Rob says:

    From my understanding this concerns the whole Volkswagen Group (because of the above listed cars).

    So following cars would be counting:
    -Audi q6 e-trom
    -Porsche Mission-e
    -VW e-golf

    -maybe already 1 of the ID models in late ’19 (but I am skeptic, since they just annouced that they will produce those in Zwickau. and 2 year time for a whole new production line ist tremendously demanding)

    -also possible that vw starts a seperate e model for us alone, which will be produced in chattanoga

  14. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    There’s a lot monetary numbers…
    They’re forced to sell EV’s by compliance….
    Introduced is too damn vague…
    There’s no number on how many they need to sell…

    VW will “introduce” 3 new vehicles at a price of $55K, $65K and $75K and sell 3 of them.

    There, that’s completely in compliance!

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      Damn, skim read past this statement……lol

      “It must collectively sell at least 35,000 of these various ZEV models between 2019 and 2025.”

      1. pjwood1 says:

        Both of your posts look correct. Intro’s in ’19, and then if VW isn’t selling 35,000 ZEVs by 2025, they will be in trouble.

        The 2% of sales CARB mandate applied to VW’s CA numbers, beginning in 2018, probably paints a dire picture if they haven’t gotten to 35k before 2025. Others around here know these numbers a lot better.

  15. Mister G says:

    CLEAN DIESEL LOL, today the same folks that fell for clean diesel are falling for clean coal LOL

  16. Jason says:

    VW will capitalise on this. They are going to build out a charging network, don’t be surprised when it has some feature that VW cars can access to make it better for them, while still looking like all other brands are well treated.

    VW EV’s are getting high profile coverage because of the “scandal”, when they release their EV’s the public will be well aware of them and maybe even say “VW had to make this EV, so it will be good, I’ll buy that”.

    VW would have had to do EV at some point (e-Golf is a basic start), so this just helps polarise their management and kick start the program. Other manufacturers are still umming and ahing about their EV’s, so VW will actually get a jump on them if they don’t also respond aggressively.
    By forcing VW in this way is actually good for VW, almost not really a punishment.

    If VW had to hand over the money for the charging infrastructure and let others do that, rather than them doing it themself, that would be different (apologies if that is the case, it is not the impression I’ve gotten reading articles about it). And if CARB had implemented something like the 20x emission offset like someone else mentioned and that was actually like a fine with no financial benefit to VW. Then it would be a punishment for their scandal, but as it looks at the moment VW can quite easily turn this into a positive for their business.

  17. trackdaze says:

    The 35000 sounds low ball especially when the e golf is selling just 100 odd units below this threshold currently.

    However what it does do os require it and another couple of models be offered for sale thats going to effectively guarantee it soesnt short california models that might not make it to these shores.

    I suspect the low ball 35k is more about not offending other automakers.

    1. trackdaze says:

      Thats 100 units per month short.

  18. GM is pulling out of South Africa. Could not cope with the competition and developed cold feet

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