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Feds Outline Diesel Emissions Settlement with VW

But “criminal investigation is (still) active and ongoing.”

by on Jun.28, 2016

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy calls the settlement "unprecedented" under the Clean Air Act.

Describing the settlement as “groundbreaking” and “unprecedented,” federal officials outlined a $14.7 billion, three-part deal with Volkswagen that will, among other things, remove as many as 475,000 diesel vehicles from U.S. roads.

But the agreement, which could yield significant compensation for those who own those vehicles, does not end the German automaker’s legal and financial problems. VW still has to reach a settlement covering about 50,000 additional vehicles. And it could yet face criminal charges and civil fines stemming from its efforts to cheat on government emissions tests.

Clearing the Air!

The settlement “marks the largest clean air mitigation step in the history of the Clean Air Act,” declared Deputy U.S. Attorney General Sally G. Yates during a news conference in Washington, D.C. But, she added, “It is by no means the final step.” Among other things, she added, “I can assure you our criminal investigation is active and ongoing.”


GM Has Big Plans for Expanded Battery Lab

Detroit maker expands R&D center in push for better range.

by on Sep.17, 2013

Work gets underway at GM's expanded battery research center in suburban Detroit.

Facing increasing competition in the battery car market as global makers like Nissan, Volkswagen and Toyota begin fielding an array of hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, General Motors has launched a major expansion of its battery development lab.

The move could prove critical not only in going up against GM’s traditional competitors but also new players in the alternative powertrain space, such as California battery-car start-up Tesla Motors. GM has confirmed plans to develop a vehicles that will deliver the extended range to challenge Tesla’s well-reviewed Model S.

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The research lab will also target ways to reduce charging times in an effort to make plug-based vehicles more practical in everyday use.

“GM is committed to vehicle electrification and our products in this area must continue to excite customers. A critical part of this plan is to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy storage systems,” said Larry Nitz, GM’s executive director of global electrification engineering.


VW’s New Golf Goes Electric

New VW e-Golf hatchback paired with e-Up! microcar.

by on Sep.10, 2013

VW claims a 120-mile range for the e-Golf.

Visitors to this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show better be careful not to trip over all the plugs as manufacturers bring an array of new battery-based vehicles out for inspection. And none have more to show off than the Volkswagen Group.

The German giant covers a wide range of offerings with any manner of hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electrics for its various brands, including the extended-range Audi Sport Quattro show car.  But the flagship VW brand itself weighs in with a pair of new all-electric offerings, including the new e-Golf.

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Based on the high-volume hatchback that recently went on sale in Europe and numerous other global markets, the Volkswagen e-Golf is powered by a 24.2 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery that the maker claims can deliver about 190 kilometers per charge.  To help maximize range, even at night, the battery hatchback adopts highly-efficient LED headlamps.


VW Rolls Out Battery “Bugster,” and Hybrid Passat

Battery-powered “great comeback.”

by on Jan.10, 2012

The Beetle-based Volkswagen E-Bugster battery-electric concept car.

Volkswagen bugged out on its Detroit Auto Show news conference, the maker introducing the Beetle-based E-Bugster concept car, along with a hybrid version of its popular Jetta model.

Both are intended to show that despite its slow entry into the world of electrification, Volkswagen aims, by 2018, “to be the most sustainable automaker and will further invest heavily in research and development,” according to VW AG CEO Martin Winterkorn.

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The E-Bugster, short for Electric-Bug speedster is the latest in VW’s growing line-up of Blue e-motion concepts.  It’s not your classic convertible but features a chopped and removable roof that gives it a look that some might find more like the new Mini Roadster than the classic Volkswagen Beetle.