State officials see the money from VW as offering “a critical opportunity” to put more zero-emission vehicles, including school buses, on the streets.
In July 2018, the U.S. government forced Volkswagen to pay $30.4 billion to settle claims that the auto maker had intentionally deceived regulators gauging emissions in its diesel vehicles. Of that, VW set aside $3 billion for states to reduce diesel dependency and related pollution.
Nearly one year later, the state of Washington has announced its first allocation of that funding, through the Washington Department of Ecology, distributing $13.3 million among six transit agencies purchasing 50 zero-emission electric buses. The department has also begun steps toward putting some of the settlement money into electric school buses.
Washington state received $112.7 million from the federal settlement, the sixth-largest portion of all states.