Volkswagen is amongst the legacy automakers now most invested in electric vehicles and they now threaten to exit an important automaker lobbying group over their policies regarding electric vehicles.
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.
Now, Volkswagen appears to be recognizing this issue and is pressuring the Association of the German Automotive Industry (VDA), a powerful lobbying group in Germany, to promote electric vehicles.
Germany’s Welt reported (Translated from German):
“The list of criticisms made at Volkswagen is long. Above all, the association must move away from the strategy of “technology openness” and ensure that all forces are focused exclusively on the enforcement of the battery-electric car. Development and promotion of vehicles with fuel cells and gas engines or other environmentally friendly variants would have to be stopped. This overburden the industry, says VW boss Herbert Diess.”
In short, VW wants the association to stop pushing “alternative fuel” vehicles and focus on battery-electric vehicles.
VDA responded by saying that “other drive and fuel alternatives remain in the field of vision,” but they plan to meet with VW soon to discuss the issue.
There you go. I’ve often highlighted this issue and I was surprised that some automakers didn’t see the hypocrisy of it.
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.
After I reported this, a GM exec reached out to tell me that the company didn’t agree with the effort. I told them that they should exit the group or at least publicly come out against this effort.
He said that there are still many other efforts headed by the lobbying group that they are supporting and therefore, they don’t want to do that.
But is there any other issue more important than this?
I don’t think so. VW has made many mistakes about fuel consumption and electric vehicles over the years, but I think this is another example that they are going in the right direction.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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