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Two of the world’s largest automakers, Ford and Volkswagen, announced at the Detroit Auto Show that they’re teaming up to build vehicles together. Although they are starting by developing commercial vans and medium-sized pickups, the companies agreed to "investigate" how they can work together to develop next generation vehicles, such as electric cars.

Investigating options to work together is good but taking swift action to bring more clean vehicles to the road is overdue and essential.

For too long, the auto industry has opposed efforts for strict fuel economy standards – standards which would reduce air pollution and improve public health. In the recent ‘dieselgate’ scandal, Volkswagen breached the trust of its customers and far exceeded pollution limits. Volkswagen’s admission of cheating emissions control laws resulted in a $14.7 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to reimburse consumers and mitigate the environmental damage it caused. And, late last year, while acknowledging its past wrongdoing, Volkswagen announced its next generation of internal combustion engine vehicles would be its last.

Volkswagen, Ford and other automakers have an opportunity to lead the major shift in the vehicles we drive. Electric vehicles have grown in popularity over the past few years and sales are up in Arizona and across the country, with demand expected to significantly expand. Consumers want cars that are cleaner, more energy efficient and save them money in fuel costs. We hope to see Ford and Volkswagen use their new partnership to plug into this opportunity.

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