diesel emissions scandal continues to keep hundreds of lawyers busy and gnaw at Volkswagen’s reputation. Martin Winterkorn, who was chief executive during the years that Volkswagen rigged diesel vehicles to cheat emissions limits, is scheduled to go on trial next month on charges related to the scandal. The trial is certain to generate heavy media coverage and remind the public of Volkswagen’s misdeeds, which came to light in 2015. Mr. Winterkorn denies wrongdoing.

As costly as it has been, the scandal had one benefit for Volkswagen. It forced the company’s managers to think hard about how to restore the company’s good name. They resolved to focus on electric cars. That may put Volkswagen in a better position today than other big rivals that hesitated.

UBS analysts pointed out that Volkswagen is one of the few big carmakers to have developed a platform specifically for electric vehicles, and to retool entire factories to build electric cars. Volkswagen’s size — it sold 18 times as many cars as Tesla last year — will allow it to push down manufacturing costs in a way that smaller carmakers cannot.

Like Tesla, Volkswagen has recognized that people won’t buy electric cars unless there is someplace to charge them. In addition to underwriting a charging network in Europe, Volkswagen will install 3,500 fast-charging points in the United States and 17,000 in China.

Many other traditional carmakers approached the electrification of cars as something they were forced to do to meet emissions requirements, Mr. Hummel of UBS said.

“They spent too much time looking at electric vehicles from the perspective of compliance,” he said. “Now they are catching up but they are late.”

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Oil Giants Prepare to Put Carbon Back in the Ground

During more than three decades in the oil and gas business, Andy Lane has managed the construction of enormous facilities for extracting and transporting natural gas, in places like Trinidad and Indonesia.

Now he is working in his native England, taking on a complex and expensive venture that essentially aims to reverse what he has spent much of his career doing.

Mr. Lane’s newest assignment is designed to collect carbon pollution from a group of chemical plants in northeast England and send it to a reservoir deep under the North Sea.

The multibillion-dollar project could be a breakthrough for a technology known as carbon capture and storage, a concept that has been around for at least a quarter-century to reduce the climate-damaging emissions from factories.

President Biden promoted carbon capture’s promise; last month, Exxon Mobil announced a $3 billion investment in low-carbon efforts, including carbon capture; and a week later, Elon Musk promised to put up $100 million for a contest seeking the best carbon-capture technology.

The project in England, in an area called Teesside along the River Tees, is led by the oil giant BP and expects to have size on its side: The area is home to one of the country’s largest clusters of polluting factories and refineries. By linking them together — collecting all their emissions by pipeline, and charging them a fee — BP hopes to achieve sufficient scale to make a profitable business of tackling their pollution.

Teesside “has quite a lot of the big industrial emissions sources in the U.K., and that is why this project makes sense,” Mr. Lane said.

It is also fast becoming a focal point of attention in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, which is eager to cement support in the onetime Labour stronghold. The area’s turn toward Mr. Johnson’s Conservative Party helped it win big in the 2019 national election.

his budget presentation in Parliament that day, citing the carbon capture effort as he called Teesside “the future economy of this country.”

Mr. Lane and the area’s influential Conservative mayor, Ben Houchen — described by Mr. Sunak as “an inspiring local leader” — portray carbon capture as the means to rejuvenating run-down industrial regions like Teesside.

“It puts the region on the map and attracts additional investment,” Mr. Houchen said.

Teesside into a vast construction site, potentially employing 2,000 workers. BP and its partners propose to build a very large electric power station fueled by natural gas near a shuttered steel mill at the mouth of the river. The plant would help replace Britain’s aging fossil-fuel-burning power stations and provide essential backup electricity when the country’s growing fleet of offshore wind farms are becalmed. Equipment would remove the carbon dioxide from the power station’s exhaust.

Pipes would run through the area rounding up more carbon dioxide from a fertilizer plant and a factory that makes hydrogen, which is winning favor as a low-carbon fuel. BP also expects to connect other plants in the area. Pipes would take the carbon dioxide 90 miles out under the North Sea, where it would be pumped below the seabed into porous rocks.

Four other oil giants — Royal Dutch Shell, Norway’s Equinor, France’s Total and Italy’s Eni — are also investors in the plan, although the final go-ahead awaits a financial commitment from the British government. The price for the initial stage could approach $5 billion.

About two dozen carbon capture projects are operating globally, but the technology has struggled to overcome high costs and worries about liability if the carbon dioxide somehow escaped.

Oil companies are also under growing pressure to reduce the carbon content of the energy products they sell. They are investing in wind and solar power, which have proved to work, as well as in technologies, like carbon capture, that fit with their expertise and may not pay off until well into the next decade, if ever.

thriving offshore wind-turbine industry.

Late last year, Mr. Johnson’s government also said it would seed carbon capture investments with a fund of up to £1 billion. The government has proposed two carbon capture “clusters” like Teesside by the mid-2020s and two more by 2030. All the candidates are northern industrial areas, the region that helped assure the Conservative Party’s victory last election.

The investments would bolster Mr. Johnson’s pledge that Britain’s carbon emissions will reach net zero by 2050. The Climate Change Committee, Britain’s environmental watchdog, said in a recent study that carbon capture would be “essential to achieving” that goal at lowest cost.

If BP can put together a package including government support that provides sufficient profits for the company, the power plant could begin operating in around five years.

Mr. Lane’s goal, he said, is to create a regulatory and technology model that can be used many times, cutting costs like the wind and solar power industries.

“These things can be done, and they can be done repeatedly in many parts of the world,” he said. “But you have to start.”

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