Volkswagen Settlement Funding Information
What is the Volkswagen Settlement?
In 2016 the Environmental Protection Agency filed a complaint against Volkswagen alleging that they violated the Clean Air Act. During normal operation and use, Volkswagen vehicles emitted levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) significantly in excess of EPA’s compliance levels.
Volkswagen was found guilty and agreed to spend up to $14.7 billion to settle allegations of cheating emissions. Settlement funds will be used to buy back and / or modify vehicles, and to support national- and state-level projects to reduce NOx emissions.
Why Should I Care?
It’s a lot of money, some of which you could have access to for fleet vehicle replacement.
Where will the Volkswagen Settlement Funding Go?
What is the Environmental Mitigation Trust?
The Volkswagen settlement required Volkswagen to establish and fund the Environmental Mitigation Trust, known as EMT. Over the next 10 years, $2.9 billion from the VW settlement will fund environmental mitigation projects that reduce emissions of NOx. This money will be deposited in a trust and allocated among state beneficiaries.
- Volkswagen must contribute $2.9 billion to an Environmental Mitigation Trust.
- The purpose of this trust is to fund actions that reduce NOx emissions.
- Each state receives a set amount based on number of affected vehicles sold in the state.
- Eligible projects include:
- Class 4-8 school bus, shuttle bus or transit bus replacement.
- Class 4-7 medium duty truck replacement.
- Class 8 freight and drayage (port) trucks.
- Airport ground service equipment (electric only).
- Forklifts (electric only).
Could ROUSH CleanTech’s Vehicles be Eligible for EMT Funding?
Yes! But it depends of each individual state’s mitigation plans. ROUSH CleanTech’s propane fuel system for the Ford 6.8L V10 3V engine in school buses and commercial trucks is certified to the optional ultra low NOx level of 0.02 g/bhp-hr. The propane engines are 90 percent cleaner than the current NOx emissions standard.
What is the Timeline of EMT Funding?
The process started October 2016. State beneficiaries have been named, and now each state will file its mitigation plan for Trustee approval. Once plans are approved, the state then has 10 years to allocate its funding.
How Much is Each State Receiving from the EMT?
States are receiving between $8 million to more than $400 million. The amount depends on the number of Volkswagen vehicles originally sold in each state that were affected by the Clean Air Act violation.
Who Is My State Beneficiary?
Each state has been assigned a beneficiary, usually an environmental or energy government entity. A state listing can be found on the VW Settlement Clearinghouse website.
What Is the Latest Funding News?
As of August 2019:
States have announced over $150 million of the $2.9 billion Volkswagen settlement awards from the Environmental Mitigation Trust. These funds have been used to purchase 1,900 vehicles and over 600 electric vehicle chargers (contraction or installation). The largest amount of investment ($55 million) has gone toward transit buses, while the largest number of deployments (990) has gone toward school buses. Almost 500 of those buses are propane-fueled.
Funding has been awarded to propane autogas school buses in Lafayette, Louisiana and various districts in Nebraska. In Iowa, 100 percent of the applications seeking propane school buses were funded. And in Tennessee, 14 districts won funding to replace diesel school buses with alternatively fueled buses. So far, we’ve had customers in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee deploy propane school buses with VW funding, which will bring economic savings and emission reductions to their school districts and communities.
How Do I Encourage My School District to Choose Low NOx Buses?
Contact your local school board representative directly. Encourage them to consider school buses that emit less NOx, such as the Blue Bird Vision Propane bus. Information on how to communicate with your school board representatives can be found on your school district’s website.
What Other Resources are Available?
The Propane Education & Research Council’s VW funding resource center offers in-depth information about propane school buses, including a state-by-state map with details regarding how to identify and apply for Volkswagen settlement funds. You can learn more about the benefits of propane autogas, how to accurately evaluate NOx reductions, and how to calculate the total cost savings for propane autogas.
What Else Can I Do?
ROUSH CleanTech has been actively involved in helping customers learn how to potentially access Environmental Mitigation Trust funds. To learn more or get involved:
- Watch this short video entitled “Knock Out NOx in School Buses.”
- Download the Cost-Effectiveness One-Pager for a comparison of propane versus other fuels.
- Check out the Propane Education & Research Council’s VW funding resource center for details on how to identify and apply for funds.
- Reach out to your state beneficiary. Discuss how low NOx propane school buses will substantially reduce NOx while benefiting students and communities throughout the entire state.
- Contact ROUSH CleanTech’s Chelsea Jenkins at Chelsea.Jenkins@roush.com to discuss how best to approach your state agencies.