In real life as well as business there needs to be a level of trust for people to cooperate and work together. The growing scandal surrounding Volkswagen and allegations that emission test results may have been manipulated is having a major impact upon the company’s reputation. Indeed, there is speculation today that the CEO of the company is about to fall on his sword, with directors hopeful they can rescue the situation. This begs the question, if Volkswagen has been manipulating emission test results, why? Does this also play into the hands of the electric car market?
Green technology getting more popular
There has been a growing momentum behind green technology, such as electric vehicles, over the last 20 or 30 years and this momentum continues to build. One of the major elements of this growth in green technology has been the level of emissions released into the atmosphere by more traditional vehicles and other systems. If the emissions released by the Volkswagen vehicles under investigation are perhaps greater than first thought then surely this must play into the hands of the electric car market?
Innocent until proven guilty
While the scandal surrounding Volkswagen continues to grow, it is worth noting that companies and individuals are innocent until proven guilty. The fact that VW has been forced to recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles which may have the suspect software installed would seem to be a part admission of guilt, or at least that there is a problem which needs addressing.
There is no doubt that the scandal has done no harm whatsoever to the worldwide electric car market. Those who support green technology will use this particular development as a means to push for further investment by governments around the world and perhaps more tax breaks and financial incentives. It may take some time until we are able to get to the bottom of the allegations surrounding Volkswagen but each day that goes by blackens the image and reputation of the company and the automobile industry as a whole.
Is Volkswagen the only potential culprit?
If Volkswagen is found guilty of manipulating the emissions results data, the spotlight could well fall on other automobile companies around the world. There will obviously be speculation that others may have taken on similar practices and we can only hope this is a one-off isolated incident. Unfortunately, while we have a system of innocent until proven guilty, this may not be the case in the courts of public opinion.
The traditional automobile industry will have to fight hard to retain any kind of credibility and restore its reputation going forward. The likes of Tesla and other stand-alone electric vehicle companies are likely to benefit from the short term confusion and rumours. As electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity, many of the public were already suspicious of traditional automobile companies and their seeming reluctance to promote electric vehicles.
To a certain extent, many of the better-known automobile companies have at least included electric powered vehicles in their future product portfolios. However, could this latest development lead to an increase in investment in alternative fuel sources for our vehicles of the future?