Last week developments in VW’s Electrify America commitment continues the road to rectify the company’s history of cheating on emissions reporting metrics. The US is predicted to charge ahead of global oil producing leaders in 2018. The future of pipelines, last-mile delivery, and more hit headlines as well.
VW’s Electrify America Subsidiary Looks for Help on Next $500 Million of Settlement
Punishments for VW’s diesel cheating scandal have cost the car-maker roughly $30 billion worldwide. While the impact to Volkswagen drivers may be more direct – like options for free trade-ins on impacted vehicles – the benefits to the greater public continue to roll out. As a part of the settlement in the US, Volkswagen set up Electrify America to invest $2 billion for zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) in four 30-month cycles. The company announced in December that the first cycle funds will install over 2,800 workplace and residential charging stations by June 2019.
Cycle Two doesn’t start until July 2019, but Electrify America is already looking for public comment for how to use the $500 million. The following are of specific interest for comment:
- Data Relevance and Suggestions for investments
- Suggestions on Process for Public Education and Access
- Specific Site Nominations
- Comments and Feedback on Cycle 1 activities
- Any other comments relevant to Electrify America’s ZEV commitment
The primary focus of the VW scandal was based around nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. NOx is especially a concern in population centers, where high concentrations of NOx combine with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to create low-level ozone, which is better known as smog. Smog has been linked with serious respiratory health issues, which has made NOx a serious concern at the federal and state-level. NOx is created during the combustion process, making combustion-free electric vehicles a optimal choice for the NOx reduction aim of the VW settlement. Cycle 2 may give the first chance for ZEV investments to flow into the medium and heavy duty commercial sectors.
The IEA’s Latest 2018 Outlook: US as Clear #1 Oil Producer
In their most recent monthly report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted a record-setting 2018 for US oil production. The forecasted growth of the US would push the country past Saudi Arabia and Russia – who are both committed to production quotas in 2018 – to the top world producer. The free market dynamics of the US oil industry will promote growth in exploration and production as long as it makes financial sense. With WTI crude oil prices at current levels above $65 per barrel, the US oil industry will continue to flourish.
In Other News
Though the (Food Safety Modernization Act) mandate has already been partially implemented with regard to large carriers and fleet agencies, the hard deadline for smaller fleets is up this year.
Virginia-based Electrify America LLC, a Volkswagen subsidiary created to help fulfill funding requirements under the automaker’s “Dieselgate” settlement, has issued a call for comments, proposals and recommendations that provide guidance and data to help guide the company’s next set of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure investments in California and across the country.
It is estimated that vehicles contribute more than half the total carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide that accumulates in the air. Combine that with nearly a quarter of the entire atmospheric hydrocarbon content, it is no surprise that a lot of our cities have poor air quality standards… Tropos Technologies, a hybrid EV startup from California, is looking to cash in on the winds of change by developing vehicles and components for electric drive.
Some of North America’s biggest new pipeline projects are already in the ground. As environmentalists and local activists make it extraordinarily difficult to build new oil and gas lines, energy companies are working around the opposition by supersizing old pipes that already crisscross parts of the continent.
Nigeria’s National Assembly has passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), a key piece of legislation aimed at reforming state-owned NNPC and the country’s oil and gas regulatory bodies.
Risk managers have no shortage of things to watch as 2018 unfolds, including the continued lookout for a rebalanced oil market, Cargill energy derivatives senior director Gregory Broussard said this week.
IEA believes huge growth in the US and gains in Canada and Brazil will offset Venezuela’s collapsing production. As oil prices hit three-year highs, OPEC and its partners are meeting in Oman this week.