Volkswagen’s $300 Million ZEV First-Tranche Settlement/Investment Plans

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As part of its settlement with the US government in relation to the diesel emissions cheating scandal, Volkswagen has agreed to invest $1.2 billion into the development of electric vehicle support infrastructure and education over the next 10 years — as we’ve reported previously.

Further details on the company’s plans in relation to the “first-tranche” investment of $300 million have now surfaced. As reported previously, much of this will be going to the creation of electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging infrastructure ($250 million), with the remainder going towards public EV education efforts ($25 million) and operational costs for the new “Electrify America” Volkswagen subsidiary ($25 million).

Most of the new EV fast-charging stations will be deployed at retail and commercial sites, highway rest stops, multi-family housing developments, and municipal parking lots. These investments will be based around 10 US cities: New York, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle, Houston, Denver, Raleigh, and Miami. (The settlement specified development outside of the EV-haven California. There’s a separate agreement with CARB.)

What’s interesting, though, is some of the new information regarding the spacing of the new EV fast-charging stations and the charging speeds.

Green Car Congress provides more: “Electrify America stations will be designed to provide access by supporting multiple non-proprietary and interoperable charging technologies to meet different needs. Level 2 AC charging (L2) with universally accepted J1772 connectors will serve charging at long dwell-time locations. 50+ kW Direct Current (DC) fast charging will serve ZEV needs in shorter dwell time situations and along highway corridors, utilizing non-proprietary charging standards (CCS and CHAdeMO). …

“Electrify America will build a long-distance high-speed highway network consisting of charging stations along high-traffic corridors between metropolitan areas and across the country, with an initial target of approximately 240 highway sites installed or under development by the end of the first cycle, more than 150 of which are expected to be completed.

“Sites will be, on average, about 66 miles apart, with no more than 120 miles between stations, meaning many shorter range ZEVs available today will be able to use this network. Stations will focus on 150 kW and some 320 kW DC fast chargers, which will also be capable of charging 50 kW capable vehicles at a lower power level.”

Altogether, Volkswagen will be building around 300 stations in the aforementioned cities, and 450+ in total (highways included). Around 2500+ charging bays are expected to be deployed in total.

This first investment tranche of $300 million will be followed by 3 more, each relating to 30-month development cycles.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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