The ongoing Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal is rather enjoyable to observe, I admit, but even I was a bit surprised to hear the executive secretary of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change come out and state that she was “delighted” by it.
While much of my enjoyment of the Volkswagen diesel scandal stems from my dislike of the arrogant, sanctimonious, delusional hypocrisy that seems to be such a part of the culture of that region (and no doubt elsewhere as well)… the recent comments from the UN figure, Christiana Figueres, were apparently motivated mostly by the potential for the scandal to spur a faster mass adoption of electric vehicles (this includes plug-in hybrids, of course).
The comments seem to have been partly in reference to comments from Volkswagen execs that the company would be moving away from diesel vehicles and towards electrics as a result of the scandal. Considering that the scandal is continuing to spread, though, and that the lying (with regard to the extent of the fraud) has been ongoing, one has to wonder how seriously to take these comments.
“If ‘the people’s vehicle’ says we are going to make it accessible to everybody to get a (zero-emissions) car, we have a little revolution on the way,” Figueres recently stated while speaking in Washington.
Here’s more from Yahoo News:
Asked if she thought the VW diesel scandal has undermined the car industry, she said: “No, I am actually delighted about Volkswagen. … what is their corporate strategy? We are going to scrap diesel and move to electric vehicles.” Figueres said high-end electric car company Tesla could not lead a mass market conversion now because its cheapest models start at around $70,000.
“Tesla is certainly opening up very, very new ground, but Tesla, as we all know, is not exactly the peoples’ vehicle,” Figueres said. Volkswagen officials said in October the company will cut investment plans at its biggest division and step up development of electric vehicles.
While there’s some truth with regard to the Tesla Model S comment, the company’s plan has always been to produce a relatively affordable electric car with mass market appeal — which the company seems to be well on its way to fulfilling. Indeed, CEO Elon Musk has been quite clear that that was his whole reason for putting his money into Tesla — to eventually release a mass market electric car.
Who could genuinely believe that Volkswagen would release a long-range mass market electric car before Tesla?
(h/t to “Ktowntslafan” on the Tesla Motors Club forum.)