When environmental issues really took off in the 1990s, some German automakers met in secret groups to ensure that their cars continued to contribute diligently to greenhouse gas emissions. According to the European Union, the parent company Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz Daimler have illegally collaborated to restrict competition in emissions cleaning of new diesel cars and have essentially slowed down the implementation of cleaner emission technology. On Thursday, the EU issued fines of 1
“The five car manufacturers Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche possessed the technology to reduce harmful emissions beyond what was legally required by EU emissions standards,” said EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a statement. “But they avoided competing to use the full potential of this technology to clean better than what is required by law. So today’s decision is about how legitimate technical cooperation went wrong. And we do not tolerate it when companies cooperate. It is illegal under EU antitrust rules. Competition and innovation in car pollution management are crucial for Europe to meet our ambitious Green Deal goals. And this decision shows that we will not hesitate to act against all cartel behaviors that jeopardize this goal. ”
All parties acknowledged their commitment and agreed to settle. Volkswagen, which owns Audi and Porsche, will have to pay around $ 595 million, and BMW will pay $ 442 million. Daimler would have had to pay around $ 861 million, but the company avoids fines by being a whistleblower. So we guess Daimler is just going free of shots?
BMW made a net profit of $ 4.62 billion. Last year, and VW earned approx. $ 12.2 billion And almost 23 billion. $ In 2019, so this nice kind feels like a slap on the wrist. And let’s remember, this is not the first time that VW has entered into an emissions scandal.
In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to VW for intentionally adding software to its diesel engines to make it look like it was following emission control, while its cars actually produced far more than the legal amount.
In its action against companies, the EU specifically followed the agreement reached by companies on the size of tanks used for AdBlue, a solution mixed with diesel car exhaust to neutralize harmful pollutants. The companies agreed not to compete to make cars cleaner, even though they had the technology to do so.
Der Spiegel first broke the news of the cartel in 2017, and the companies started greenwashing. That same year, all parties involved as well as the Ford Motor Company joined forces to create a high-power charging network for electric cars called Ionity. The plan was to build and operate around 400 charging stations across Europe by 2020, but it appears that Ionity only managed to install 300 across Europe, and it even raised the price of a fee significantly by 500% last year.
Earlier this week, VW’s heavy trucking company, Traton Group, Daimler Truck and the Volvo Group, agreed to invest nearly $ 593 million in a network of public charging stations for electric heavy-duty trucks and buses around Europe.