VW releases $2 billion settlement plan for electrifying America

The first of four phases of Volkswagen's national plan – part of its settlement in the diesel emissions case – has been issued. Now, the public can review it and offer input.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
A municipal, electric car in Samsø, Denmark, getting charged at a station powered by solar panels.

Two billion dollars is a lot of money.

When VW Group of America agreed to fund a $2 billion project to spread zero-emission vehicle infrastructure across the U.S. as part of its settlements in the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal, that immediately changed the playing field for electric-car fast charging.

Now the first of four phases of the national plan has been issued, and the public has a chance to look at it and offer critiques.

The first phase covers 30 months, or one quarter of the full 10-year plan, and adds up to $500 million, split into two parts: $200 million for California, and $300 million for the rest of the United States.

The total $2 billion fund is split into two separate plans: one for California, totaling $800 million, and another for the rest of the country, totaling $1.2 billion.

The first phase of the national, or 49-state, plan was released late last Friday. The full plan can be downloaded as a PDF file from VW's Electrify America site, here.

By 2019, the national plan says, it will have installed more than 450 "non-proprietary" electric-vehicle charging stations in 11 metropolitan areas and along many major highways.

Non-proprietary in this case means that only common standards used by multiple makers will be employed: for DC fast charging, that includes the CHAdeMO format used by Nissan and Mitsubishi, and the CCS standard adopted by all German makers and all U.S. car companies except Tesla.

The proprietary Tesla Supercharger network, which is limited to use by Tesla vehicles alone, will not receive any funding from the Electrify America plan.

In the first national phase, the goal is to have 240 fast-charging sites installed or under construction by the end of the 30-month period.

Each site will include four to 10 individual 150-kilowatt and 320-kw DC fast-charging cables, which could cut average time for an 80-percent recharge to as little as 15 to 20 minutes for next-generation longer-range electric vehicles equipped with suitable onboard charging equipment.

Those sites will be spread across 39 states, and their locations will be closely correlated with the EV Charging Corridors designated last year by the federal government.

The sites will be spaced roughly 65 miles apart, on average, and no two sites will be more than 120 miles apart.

In addition to the DC fast-charging sites, the plan's first phase will also install more than 300 "community-based charging sites" with a mix of DC fast charging and 240-volt Level 2 stations.

They will be sited in "workplaces, retail, multifamily residential locations and municipal lots and garages in the Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, Raleigh, Seattle and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas," according to the plan.

Finally, Electrify America will also embark on a public awareness and education campaign to make more buyers aware of electric cars, how they're charged, what public charging infrastructure is available, and why electric vehicles are simply a better choice.

Importantly, VW says, that campaign will be brand-neutral and won't promote plug-in vehicles or charging sites from any particular makers over any others.

This story originally appeared on GreenCarReports.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to VW releases $2 billion settlement plan for electrifying America
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2017/0418/VW-releases-2-billion-settlement-plan-for-electrifying-America
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe