The Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust was formed because of the need for a clean energy reformation.
It has become a big part of society to find more ways to lessen our carbon footprint, starting with large companies that contribute the most to the world's carbon footprint.
Companies are now looking more towards switching their high-emission diesel engines over to zero-emission lithium-ion technology.
In September of 2015, the automaker, Volkswagen received a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as the EPA discovered that the German car manufacturer intentionally programmed a TDI (turbocharged direct injection) to activate during an emission control test.
By doing so, the cars would emit the regulated U.S. standard NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) emissions needed to pass the controlled test, but the controls were turned off when used in real-world applications.
According to the NASEO (National Association of State Energy Officials) and the NACAA (National Association of Clean Air Agencies), “from the tests ran on the cars, they found out that the average emissions exceeded federal NOx limits up to 38 times the U.S. limit was.” The EPA uncovered 11 million Volkswagen and Audi model cars worldwide were sold from 2009 to 2015.
The settlement between the EPA and Volkswagen was about $15B along with the creation of the Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement. The establishment of the Environmental State Mitigation Trust for Volkswagen required the disbursement of funds allocated to each state for projects which would lower the amount of emissions produced as an offset against VW vehicles.
According to the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, the allocation of the funds will be divided between the state beneficiaries affected by the environmental issue. These state beneficiaries will be responsible for complying with the distribution of funding towards promoting zero-emission alternate fueled engines or all-electric engines.
Every state will have a different Environmental Mitigation Trust Plan that can be found on the VW Settlement Clearinghouse website.
As per the legal settlement with Volkswagen, the California Mitigation Trust Allocation is around $423M that will be allocated to many different categories of vehicles that are composed of diesel engines in hopes that funding for new zero-emission technology will help fully reduce the excess NOx emissions caused by the Volkswagen vehicles.
The Volkswagen Mitigation Trust’s goal is to reduce the 10,000 tons of NOx produced by VW diesel engines and replace it with more renewable energy which will be more beneficial in the future.
As a result of the Volkswagen settlement, each state will receive a dedicated amount of funds that will be distributed to those looking to upgrade their aging diesel to new zero-emission, all-electric equipment. These expenditures are allocated to each state based on a certain percentage of VW 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter vehicles sold.
Some eligible projects include 1992-2009 model vehicles such as:
√ Freight Switchers
√ Scrap and Replace Forklifts (with >8,000 lbs. lift capacity)
√ Port Cargo Handling Equipment (with >8,000 lbs. lift capacity)
√ Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment
Specifically, in California, $70M of the $423M will be allocated towards Airport Ground Support Equipment, forklifts, and other freight and marine projects to invest in green energy technologies, such as lithium-ion batteries.
Around 450 zero-emission GSE, zero-emission forklifts, and other zero-emission powered equipment could be funded through the California Mitigation Trust.
Lithium-ion Batteries for GSE and Forklifts
Zero-emission lithium-ion batteries are commonly used to power airport ground support equipment and forklifts. Lithium-ion batteries are a great fit for ground support equipment because they are clean, safe, and maintenance-free.
Not only are lithium-ion batteries better for the environment, they also have other additional benefits including:
√ Faster Charging Times
√ Higher Energy Efficiency
√ Better Performance in Cold Environments
√ Lower Risk of Physical Injury
By taking advantage of the Volkswagen Trust, companies could receive funding to take diesel-powered GSE out of service and replace them with clean, zero-emission equipment. With lithium-ion batteries providing a clean energy source, companies can play a role in reducing the world’s carbon footprint.