If you thought an electric Apple car was way too much of an undertaking for the California-based company, think no more as it is time to get real about electric cars in the country.
This week’s revelations have become serious catalysts in the push for electric cars especially those that were directly hitting the automotive industry. The first revelation is about Volkswagen admitting that they systematically cheated on emissions tests. In short, what the automaker is saying is that it has been intoxicating its customers for years now. Secondly, Apple revealed that is hoping to see the first Apple car on the roads sometimes in 2019.
What links the two stories is that they affect the auto industry. However, they are miles apart as one demonstrates how everything is currently wrong in the industry while the other is pointing towards a new direction – a diesel-free future.
What did Volkswagen do?
Well, some of you might be thinking that slipping a mechanic a few dollars just to get a new sticker is actually what entails cheating on emissions tests. Even though this is still true, what Volkswagen did is worse.
An EPA investigation revealed that at least four Volkswagen vehicles are installed with software meant for fooling inspectors. This software will detect whenever the car is being tested and then present the inspectors with fake results, with the emissions looking very normal. However, when taken out to the road, problems start showing up, with emissions of up to 40 times the expected amount. With these nitrogen oxide emissions, everyone is at risk of getting asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, and it adds to air pollution. During its marketing campaigns, Volkswagen marketed the models as “clean diesel.”
The EPA revealed that as of now, over 11 million (482, 000 in the U.S. alone) Volkswagen cars are affected by this problem and not just in the U.S., but also in other parts of the world. The company will be setting aside at least $7.3 billion to solve the issue. If the EPA goes ahead with its fine of $37,500 per car, then VW might be facing a fine of around $18 billion. Fiat Chrysler has had similar issues with the EPA earlier this year, and it too was subjected to similar fines.
So, what now for the automotive industry?
Make way for Apple
Apple is reportedly exploring the possibilities of joining the auto world with a new Apple car though this might wait until 2019. Reports about Apple developing a new electric car started showing up early this year, however, it is only until now that the company seems to be interested in pushing on with this technology. The California Department of Motor Vehicles reportedly admitted having held talks with Apple to discuss matters of road regulations as far as testing self-driven cars is concerned.
This move follows a recent move by the company that saw them recruit a former Chrysler employee as well as a LinkedIn post that showed Cupertino is now employing triple the number of automotive experts it was employing before.
Apple has always targeted reaching people in as many ways as possible, be it on PCs, tablets, smartphones, TVs or even in the home. Perhaps moving to the roads might be seen as a super-ambitious plan for Apple, but other close competitors of Cupertino have already done it, for instance, Google and Tesla.