Volkswagen Releases Its “Electrify America” Plan – Cross-Country Network Of High-Speed Chargers Part Of Plan

8 months ago by Eric Loveday 35

Electrify America Header

Electrify America Header

Following the Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen was ordered to make significant investments into electric vehicles in the U.S. The vast majority of the investments were to be focused on charging infrastructure. It’s taken Volkswagen Group quite some time to come up with a game plan, but now it’s here.

Called “Electrify America,” VW will focus on “three primary activities aimed at increasing usage of ZEV technology.”

The “three primary activities” are as follows:

1) Investing in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to increase availability of chargers, with construction starting in 2017. Our planned investments will focus on:

2) Increasing awareness and fostering education about EVs, charging availability, and the benefits of electric mobility through various means such as ride and drives, multi-channel advertising, website, social media, and educational programs.

3) Launching a Green City initiative in a yet-to-be-named California municipality to pilot future concepts of sustainable mobility, such as a ZEV-based shuttle service, EV-based car-sharing program, or ZEV transit application.

The main focus (and likely the bulk of spending) will be on charging infrastructure. Here are those details:

Installing chargers locally in approximately 15 metro areas consisting of 300+ stations (L2 or DC Fast Chargers (50 to 150+ kW))

Developing a high-speed, cross-country network consisting of 200+ stations (DC Fast Chargers)
Given the deployment versatility of EV chargers, locations could include:

Multi-family homes (e.g., apartment complexes)
Workplaces (e.g., office parks)
Retail (e.g., stores, malls, restaurants, hotels, refueling stations)
Communities (e.g., municipal parking lots, street parking spots)
Initially, we plan to focus on charger installation in metro areas that could benefit from increased charging infrastructure (e.g., densely populated) and highly trafficked cross-country highways.

There’s a timeline for all of this to be in place. It’s a bit more lax than we’d like to see:

Timeline

Timeline

Here’s the full release on the matter from Volkswagen’s new “Electrify America” website (check it out here):

Our Plan

Volkswagen Group of America will focus on three primary activities aimed at increasing usage of ZEV technology and showing more Americans that going electric is possible today:

1) Investing in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to increase availability of chargers, with construction starting in 2017. Our planned investments will focus on:

Installing chargers locally in approximately 15 metro areas consisting of 300+ stations (L2 or DC Fast Chargers (50 to 150+ kW))

Developing a high-speed, cross-country network consisting of 200+ stations (DC Fast Chargers)
Given the deployment versatility of EV chargers, locations could include:

Multi-family homes (e.g., apartment complexes)
Workplaces (e.g., office parks)
Retail (e.g., stores, malls, restaurants, hotels, refueling stations)
Communities (e.g., municipal parking lots, street parking spots)
Initially, we plan to focus on charger installation in metro areas that could benefit from increased charging infrastructure (e.g., densely populated) and highly trafficked cross-country highways.

2) Increasing awareness and fostering education about EVs, charging availability, and the benefits of electric mobility through various means such as ride and drives, multi-channel advertising, website, social media, and educational programs.

3) Launching a Green City initiative in a yet-to-be-named California municipality to pilot future concepts of sustainable mobility, such as a ZEV-based shuttle service, EV-based car-sharing program, or ZEV transit application.

Volkswagen Group of America will accomplish its mission in four 30-month investment cycles, with planning for the first cycle underway. We welcome input and proposals, but caution that some submissions might not fit within the scope of our initiatives for the first 30-month investment cycle. Other promising ZEV initiatives, such as hydrogen fueling stations or national ZEV car-sharing or ZEV ride-sharing services, will be considered in later investment cycles.

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35 responses to "Volkswagen Releases Its “Electrify America” Plan – Cross-Country Network Of High-Speed Chargers Part Of Plan"

  1. Big Solar says:

    yea yea, sure

  2. Alfred says:

    Beautiful! I hope that the EEC commission will be tough enough, to get an “Electrify Europe”.

    1. SJC says:

      The story is some EU countries are not fining VW like America has.

    2. Mikael says:

      Europe is pretty much electrified already, and charging grids spreading without car manufacturers help.

      What we need though is for Volkswagen to produce more electric cars and more models at longer range for a lower price.

  3. georgeS says:

    Just buy a Tesla they have a network that’s already operational and is designed correctly compared to this.

    First of all you can’t do the nation wide network with only 200 stations.

    Second of all too much money is being wasted on a bunch of “in town” chargers. In town chargers are not needed for the most part for cars with 250 miles of range.

    This thing will end up as a big boondoggle.

    1. Steven says:

      In a few months, the EPA will tell them to get back to work on clean diesels and nevermind EV charging infrastructure. No one wants electric cars anyways, global warming is a scam created by the Chinese.

      1. Mister G says:

        Steven you nailed it. VW is going to lobby Trump’s EPA and all this will go away. On the other hand, I’m going to submit a proposal for a charging station in Lake Wales Florida but I won’t hold my breath. Lol

        1. DonC says:

          The VW settlement involves multiple parties and was approved by a federal judge. Hard to see any way to roll this back. In fact hard to see VW wanting to unwind the settlement.

          Compliance could of course be an issue but with CARB and class action attorneys being parties to the settlement this shouldn’t be a huge problem either. If you want to look at ways VW could benefit from an EPA opposed to clean air and/or excessive emissions, look at the cars which are supposed to be destroyed. VW might be able to get approval to “fix” the offending cars but even that might be difficult given that every action can be litigated.

          Note the court is in San Francisco and the 9th Circuit.

          1. BraveLilToaster says:

            You’d be amazed at what happens when the EPA simply doesn’t have the funds to enforce this (or anything!) in any way, shape, or form. The build-out will get “delayed” repeatedly, and the EPA will do nothing.

            Of course, by 2020, demand for such chargers will likely be high enough that Chargepoint will install them all on their own (and actually turn a profit), making the entire debacle pointless anyway.

        2. WadeTyhon says:

          The EPA cannot just tell them to start making clean diesels and ignore EV charging. This isnt just the EPA, CARB states and liberal strongholds who were suing VW.

          Even my obnoxious Attormey General Ken Paxton got involved.

          “When companies willfully violate the public’s trust, we will hold these entities responsible,” Paxton said a statement in June. “This settlement will both compensate the victims of Volkswagen’s fraud and punish the company enough to deter future fraud.”

          I have mostly contempt for Ken Paxton. But, if even Texas was willing to sue VW and be awarded $200 million then Im quite sure VW will be forced to follow through.

          https://www.texastribune.org/2016/10/25/vw-settlement-finalization-texas-poised-receive-mi/

      2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        I may be wrong, but don’t think EPA would have power to reverse this court settlement. California state regulators are part of the settlement too.

    2. DonC says:

      George, agree that you can’t build a charging network with 200 charging stations. However, see my comment below regarding disbursements from the VW trust about why this is just a drop in the bucket of funds available for charging.

    3. TomArt says:

      If you’ll notice, those in-town chargers include for multi-family dwellings. That’s awesome and desperately needed! Most people in apartment or condo complexes do not have access, or sometimes even an assigned parking spot. A majority of property management companies are loathe to agree to any EV charging installations. This provision of their plan is necessary and I hope they follow through on it.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Yeah, fast chargers are desirable mostly for vacations..

        The day to day need is some small wall boxes for apartments and condos where Home Owner Association policy is to allow no other charging facility.

        This would greatly help places such as San Francisco, and Manhattan.

    4. Rik says:

      Tesla has built a lot of Supercharger stations within metro areas, so there is logic to building in town DC fast chargers.

    5. unlucky says:

      “In town” chargers are needed for people who don’t own their own home.

      The story mentions that chargers will go into multi-unit dwelling.

      Chargers in apartment complexes will do much more to increase the number of people who can use an EV day-to-day than long-haul cross country chargers will.

      As to it being a boondoggle, the entire EV industry is heavily subsidized right now. Who is to say what isn’t a boondoggle?

  4. Blaine says:

    That’s pretty underwhelming. The Ontario government just invested $20M, so about $15M USD, and will have 274 L2 chargers and 211 CCS/ChaDeMo chargers in place by March.

    Given VW is supposed to invest $200M in the coming year for “infrastructure”, those are some very expensive chargers (~500 mixed L2 and L3 chargers)

    1. unlucky says:

      How about we count those Ontario chargers (chickens) after they hatch?

      1. Blaine says:

        That’s a reasonable point. Except for the fact that I’ve seen about a dozen of the fast chargers which are already installed, or delivered and in the process of being hooked up. And its not like I’ve been all over the province.

        The extension of the FLO network from Quebec to the Canadian Tire Gas+ bars on the 400 series highways is also coming in the next year. Pretty sure that didn’t cost $200M either.

  5. Jeff Songster says:

    There is a storm of nightmares coming for folks who actually care about humanity continuing to live on earth. Hang in there folks… keep fighting, don’t let go of your EVs… It looks like this will get cancelled… we will be lucky to still have Tesla and Nissan to buy EVs from in 1 to 2 years. The liars and big oil trolls have won this round. The Trump Administration will likely fail miserably at the next major war or disaster and we need to make sure no one forgets… just like Katrina was the beginning of the end for George the Lesser. Hang in there and don’t look away from the slow train wreck that will be the next 4 years.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      US is not center of the world, you don’t need to be so emotional over this.
      The world will go its own way with or without POTUS. Even US states like California would continue the same policy one way or another.
      E.g. German government & automakers are not even concerned about US competition much, their biggest fear are Asian manufacturing and Chinese regulations. With China possibly requiring every seventh car to be electric soon, and individual cities in Europe restricting tailpipe vehicles from downtown, the trend will continue even if the US would become outlier of developed world.

      http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/german-government-at-odds-with-industry-over-electric-cars-a-1123436.html

      1. Jeff Songster says:

        I get that we are not center anymore… especially with the new fearless leader… but as to California… the new EPA will undo our unique CARB system… unless we get smart and leave the US. I hope the rest of the world continues along the EV path… I have watched this movement ebb and flow 3 times in my life. I am emotional because I understand what is really at stake. Lots of folks will lose their standard of living under the new fully oligarchic mode of government in the US. We have always been pro-corporate… now we are fascist corporate.

        1. DonC says:

          Breathe. The Supreme Court has already ruled — by a 9 to 0 vote if I remember correctly — that CARB can independently regulate air quality under a waiver. No way to reverse that. The only way to pre-empt CARB at this point would be by congressional action requiring 60 votes in the Senate.

          1. pjwood1 says:

            Can the waiver be rescinded? What have you read saying it is permanent?

            Trying to figure this out, and Would add that A Congressional Review Act will likely take place, on CAFE, after EPA’s final ruling On December 30th. So, that could fall apart too.

          2. Mister G says:

            Republicans can round up 60 votes in Senate with the help of 5 Democrats in Rust Belt states that Trump won…but I hope I’m wrong.

    2. Assaf says:

      Chill Jeff, we’re stronger than that.

      As others had pointed out, the US is not the start and end of the world.

      And *within* the US, local and state government, as well as grassroots organizing, can easily have a greater impact than the Feds, especially on EV-related matters.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        Per capita pollution is stagering, from the ~dozen states built on fossil fuels. Its like the coal roller passing you by, when you thought your state inspected vehicle amounted to something. The attitudes of a minority can really skew the outcome.

    3. taser54 says:

      Histrionics.

  6. DonC says:

    Keep in mind that states can use some of their share of the money disbursed from the VW trust — 15% which is a pretty good chunk — to build out charging stations or to replace heavy duty vehicles like school buses. So this isn’t the only funding available for a charging network. Much more to come … .

  7. Ocean Railroader says:

    I really hope that all of this money goes into building muti standard DC quick chargers along roads going though rural areas.

    I’m really getting tried of no new DC Quick chargers in rural areas or even the other suburbs of cities.

    And Tesla being a $80,000 doesn’t exist for me.

  8. unlucky says:

    I’m glad to see this happening. I am sad VW is only doing it because they are forced to. I wish that major companies other than Tesla would work to improve EV infrastructure in the US.

    1. I have long suggested that large companies should re-direct some of their advertising budget to installing EV Charging, but I just thought – what if the Advertising Agencies themselves starting using a % of their Revenue from their large clients (anyone spending over $100,000 a year with them) – and started installing L2 and DCQC’s – promoting themselves, and marketing them as funded by ‘our major Advertisers’ (Like Ford, GM, Guthy-Renker, IBM, Capital ONE, etc!)

      Just like Some Fast Food Joints put a % or a few Cents from each burger, coffee, or whatever, into a fund for charitable causes, this could be done similarly!

      There is tons of Money flowing out there – I know – just look at the product my employer is building – a new $70,000,000 Business Jet! With lots of Orders! And also – increased build rate going up again in January – on the ‘Old’ one – that costs only about $50,000,000!

      That, and the Chinese looking to invest in America – maybe we should be getting them to invest in EV Infrastructure here too! Use it as a leverage to support their EV’s when they start coming! (Le ECO, Faraday Future, and the rest!)

  9. Johnny Zawacki says:

    First, they better clean up the mess they’ve left behind with the TDI “clean diesels”. I submitted all of my paperwork, which was cleared, on October 3rd. Still haven’t heard from them, which is well past the anticipated buyback date. They’re losing us loyal VW owners.

  10. Not having read the long plan, I wonder if anyone checked it out and found out how many DC QC’s VW will put at each location? If just One – that will be pitiful! If at least two – it might be Tolerable – but for the money they are spending – two DC QC’s at each location – in Cities, if they are not more than 5 miles apart, would probably be OK; however – on Interstates, it will likely need 3-4 Plus High Powered Level 2 Charging (60 Amps +) in numbers like 4-6 at each location!

    Even Faster Level 2 Charging in On-board EV Chargers can make use of such 60 Amp L2 EVSE’s, and maybe to compare with 11 kW 3 Phase AC Charging – they could put 10 kW AC Charging (Single Phase) in their new VW EV’s for the USA! Some Interstate Charging can be located at Service Centers, and some should be at the minimal service – Rest Areas, covering all the bases.

    VW Will likely need to add some 1000-2000 L2’s at Multi-Unit Dwellings to be of any value, and build to about 10,000 – 20,000 L2 at Multi-Unit Buildings + Work Place Charging + Mall and Street Parking, to really make it accessible for wider acceptance.

    For DC QC’s, we really need to make sure they are at least the new Dual Standard type, with CCS + CHAdeMO, and maybe some company will even make one for the USA – with both those PLUS a Tesla Plug – capable of service a 3 at a time, with shared power, or higher outputs to just 2 at a time, or even higher output to a single plug! TESLA? ABB? CLIPPER CREEK? EATON? Anyone?

    Since Most New Tesla Supercharger sites are going in with 6-8, and some have 10-12, with at least 2 now designed with 20 Superchargers, which are generally higher power than other branded DC QC’s, for Cross Country Travel and a plan for EV Growth – VW’s Plan should allow for 8-10 Dual Standard DCQC’s at Each Interstate Charging Point! Plus, Those should be supported by at least 8-10 Level 2 Charging stations – for folks who are staying a while, and want to top off right to 100% – they can use the L2’s for that, as well as they would be available for cars that are L2 Only, but want to be adventurous!

  11. Martin T. says:

    VW one of the most dishonest manufactures in the world announces …. Lets just see shall we – what in fact really happens.