Letter: VW should put scandal resources into zero-emissions cars

More than 40 activists and clean energy executives, including Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla, have signed a letter sent to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) urging a different method for dealing with Volkswagen and its emissions-cheating cars. Rather than following through with the current plan, which will have Volkswagen fix its faulty cars, the collective wants the auto maker to puts those resources into launching its zero emissions cars.

Under the present plan, CARB will make Volkswagen recall the cars affected by the cheating scandal and fix the problem. That will be an expensive and time consuming process, and at least according to some, isn't the best plan. It would be better, according to the letter, for VW to put those resources into accelerating its work on zero emissions vehicles.

The letter reads, in part:

A giant sum of money [will] be wasted in attempting to fix cars that cannot all be fixed, and where the fix may be worse than the problem if the cars are crushed well before the end of their useful lives. Instead, direct VW to accelerate greatly its rollout of zero-emission vehicles, which by their very nature, have zero emissions and thus present zero opportunities for cheating, and also do not require any enforcement dollars to verify.

The letter was signed by a total of 44 individuals, including Elon Musk, Sierra Club's Mike Brune, Jeff Skoll formerly of eBay, Energy Innovation's Hal Harvey, and more.

The letter goes on in sharp criticism of the current plan, pointing out among it all that "despite having the greatest research and development program in diesel engines, VW had to cheat to meet current European and U.S. standard." Rather than trying to continually squeeze better performance out the vehicles, it would be better in the long run to invest in zero emissions technology, or so the argument goes.

SOURCE: Newsweek