As part of its settlement of civil claims arising from the sale of diesel powered cars in America that failed to meet applicable state and federal emissions standards, Volkswagen has agreed to spend $2 billion on efforts to promote electric car infrastructure in the US over the next 10 years. The money is broken into 4 chunks spread 30 months apart. During each segment of the program, Volkswagen will invest $500,000 in clean tech programs like building charging infrastructure, educating the public about the benefits of driving an electric car (something the rest of the industry has been woefully poor at doing), and launching a “Green City Initiative.”
Volkswagen has now launched a website called Electrify America where people and organizations can make suggestions about the money should be spent. One of the proposals is to use some of the money to add three hundred 240 volt Level 2 and fast charging Level 3 charging stations in 15 US cities. If your city is not on the list, you might want to log on to Electrify America and suggest it be added. Another part of the plan is to create an network of at least two hundred fast charging stations along principal transportation routes throughout America. Here is your chance to request one be installed near where you live or work.
The California Air Resources Board played a leading role in negotiating the settlement and wants a significant proportion of the money spent within California. Its goals focus on providing access to electric car chargers in low income neighborhoods. People with limited income often buy the cheapest cars they can find to get back and forth to work. Those cars tend to pollute far more than newer cars. CARB wants to give those folks the opportunity to drive electric to help get those old beaters off the road in California’s cities.
The comment period on the Electrify America website for how the first $500,000 should be spent ends January 16, so if you want your voice heard, add your comment before then. Volkswagen is required to submit a draft investment plan to CARB and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by February 22.
Source: Green Car Reports