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The Tesla Motors showroom and service center in Brooklyn, New York. Photo: Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

In the wake of its 2015 emissions scandal, Volkswagen reached a settlement with the EPA to pay $2.7 billion across all 50 states to make up for unaccounted emissions from non-compliant vehicles. States have been instructed to use these funds to subsidize the purchase of zero-emissions vehicles, as California and New York are already doing.

Why it matters: The trucks, buses, planes and trains that drive the U.S. economy and get us from point A to point B are taking a hazardous toll on the environment, producing 28% of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. But with the Volkswagen payout, states will have new means to clean up their transportation sectors, laying the foundation for nationwide electrification.

The details: Each state will take aim at the form of transit most harmful to their immediate environment.

What’s next: With the means to tackle EVs’ notoriously high sticker price, America’s EV market is likely to see a major uptick. Here’s how the industry might change:  

  • 2018–2019: California has been incubating EV technology with existing incentive programs that have accelerated its development and will continue to do so.
  • 2020–2021: Volkswagen funding will spur the nationwide deployment of medium- and heavy-duty EVs, in addition to other zero-emission vehicle technologies (buses, boats, rail, etc.).
  • 2022 and beyond: Battery costs will decrease and EV sticker prices will fall below those of diesel vehicles.

Dakota Semler is the co-founder and CEO of Thor Trucks.

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
46 mins ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”