Why We Should Be Concerned About the $2 Billion Dollar Dieselgate Infrastructure Fund


VW readies itself to start dispensing ~$2 billion worth of settlement money into promoting EVs and their infrastructure in the US

VW readies itself to start dispensing ~$2 billion worth of settlement money into promoting EVs and their infrastructure in the US

The Dieselgate Settlement Is Flawed, And Here Is How to Fix it.

On the surface, the proposed Deiselgate settlement initially seemed like it might provide the monumental boost to public electric vehicle charging infrastructure that many have been waiting for. The Volkswagen Group has agreed to pay $14.7 billion for intentionally deceiving the public, and selling “Clean Diesel” vehicles that emit up to 40 times the legal limit of certain pollutants. There are three parts to the settlement:

*- Buybacks and financial settlements to owners of 466,000 vehicles: $10.0 billion
*- Compensation for the illegal cars’ environmental impact: $2.7 billion
*- Fund new infrastructure and access for zero-emission vehicles: $2.0 billion

VW debuted its own CCS fast charging solution in Geneva in 2014

VW debuted its own CCS fast charging solution in Geneva in 2014

However, as the October 18th court date approaches at which time U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer is set to decide whether to grant final approval to the settlement, the details of the infrastructure part of the settlement are, to say the least, concerning.

As it stands now, the Volkswagen Group will have very little oversight as to how they spend the $2 billion dollars earmarked for infrastructure and ZEV access. I question why Volkswagen will have ANY discretion as to how the penalty is spent, let alone near complete control over it. Volkswagen isn’t in the electric vehicle infrastructure business. In fact, they are barely in the electric vehicle business as it is today. The only OEM that I’d trust to do infrastructure implementation properly would be Tesla, because their business model depends on it, and they’ve been doing it for half a decade already.

What if Volkswagen decides to start their own EV infrastructure company and use the funds to pay their own subsidiary to manufacture and install the equipment? We could end up with substandard equipment, and a network that has poor customer service, inadequate repairs and outrageous pricing models.

Even if they were to do it right, and the company was successful, why should Volkswagen benefit from the penalty? What if they offered free charging for the first couple years so they could put all the competition out of business and then raised the prices to unreasonable levels? Indeed, you could do a lot of damage with 2 billion dollars and this settlement doesn’t provide any safeguards against that in its current form.

Volkswagen I.D. debuted in Paris last month

Volkswagen I.D. (details) debuted in Paris last month

Last week, ChargePoint asked the courts to intervene, and Judge Breyer accepted the plea. It’s ChargePoint’s position that the way the settlement is currently constructed, Volkswagen is “solely responsible for every aspect of selecting the National (ZEV) investments…including timing and locations”.

An i3 sits next to a 24kW DC Fast Charge unit during the announcement of the BMW, VW & ChargePoint joint venture last year

A BMW  i3 sits next to a 24kW DC Fast Charge unit during the announcement of the BMW, VW & ChargePoint joint venture last year

Among concerns that Volkswagen isn’t experienced enough in the electric vehicle infrastructure business to have sole discretion over such a large fund, Chargepoint is also concerned that Volkswagen will have too much say over the future of electric vehicle charging. Since the amount of funds available in the fund is so great, Volkswagen could dictate the fate of many of the existing companies and decelerate advancements, often fostered by fair competition:

“If the settling defendants become the sole source for electric vehicle infrastructure, it will stifle innovation in industries designed to support electric vehicle recharging.”

I have to agree with Chargepoint on this issue. I don’t believe it’s in the best interest of the electric vehicle industry to allow Volkswagen to decide how to spend these funds. Personally I’m not rooting for ChargePoint over Car Charging Group, or for EVGo over Greenlots, etc. I believe the market will sort that out, and eventually the stronger networks which provide the best equipment and customer service will emerge as the dominant forces.

However, the enormity of this settlement could have the opposite effect, and allow VW to crush the competition before the natural evolution and survival of the fittest has time to take effect. If the stronger companies of today aren’t even allowed to bid on projects funded by this penalty, they could end up dying before they have the chance to flourish and provide the marketplace with superior products and services.

EVgo Freedom Charging Station - also funding by a settlement program - but directed by CARB

EVgo Freedom Charging Station – also funding by a ($100 million) settlement program – but with the details outlined specifically ahead of time with an agreement reached with the CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission)

I’d like to see an independent council appointed to oversee the infrastructure fund implementation, so as to not skew the marketplace. There should be appointees from various industry stakeholders, EV advocacy groups, like Plug in America, The Sierra Club, Clean Cities Coalitions, etc. Let the council decide how the money is spent and always offer open, competitive bidding.

Volkswagen should not have control over the money they were fined. They’ve proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they cannot be trusted when it comes to clean air initiatives. There’s too much at stake here. We have an opportunity to really advance the proliferation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the US, and provide the industry with a much-needed boost. This settlement should be modified to allow competitive bidding for all projects, to follow a master plan for national electric vehicle DC fast charging, and to add proper oversight and transparency.

Categories: Charging, Volkswagen


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94 Comments on "Why We Should Be Concerned About the $2 Billion Dollar Dieselgate Infrastructure Fund"

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Do the Wendy’s model. Where ever there is a McDonald’s, it’s probably a good place to put in a Wendy’s.

Likewise, spec the places Tesla has their stations. Build in closer proximity across the nation and viola. Instant network and competition singlehandedly defeats the bragging rights of Tesla.

$2B should build that network out quite nicely with 100kw chargers for Level 3+ charging. Couple that roughly in business fuel stop areas and that we enhance the dwell periods and ensure maintenance agreements

Use evgo’s free install as the template and just strategically place the stations to support a 200mile network


I have a relative who was a VP for a very large oil company. He was tasked for doing the same thing for new gas station installations. He told me he let Mickey D pay for the heavy lifting of market research and selected areas near new MD builds.

It’s voila, a viola is a large stringed instrument. You are living too much in your Harry Potter world.

“viola” means “raped” . “Voilà” is the one.

“Et voilà” even better. The lack of accent is forgiven for english keyboards layouts 😉

SparkEV-Fiat500… said: “…competition singlehandedly defeats the bragging rights of Tesla.” And why is it that you think this should be one of the goals of a supposedly independent council appointed to oversee the disbursement of funds from this massive fine? On the contrary, not only do I not think Tesla should be penalized for taking the bit in their teeth and building out the first real attempt at a nationwide/worldwide EV charging network to support long-distance EV travel, I think they deserve to be rewarded for that! I’m not saying that all of the money from the fine should go to Tesla, but if one is to pick a single company to give the money to, then it certainly should be Tesla. But really, the best thing to use this money for would be for development of a universal, forwardly-compatible EV charging standard, and deployment of a planned network using that standard. Far better that than to dissipate it by giving a bit here and a bit there to existing EV charger companies, who are obviously resisting standardization by each requiring use of its own payment card, rather than allowing payment by using ordinary credit cards… as any pay-at-the-pump gas… Read more »

$2B is a huge amount of money. It is more than Tesla has spent to date on all its superchargers.

I hope it gets spent wisely. It is best to appoint a board of folks to manage this.


If ChargePoint goes under it will probably be because they wasted time effort and money building a worthless network so why would I trust them with 2 billion???
Here in Tucson they have 10 location 2 of them are level 1 chargers and 0 DC fast chargers and 0 chargers by the freeway…
In Phoenix they have 125 chargers but only 1 DC fast charger at a BMW dealership several miles from the freeway…
I fail to see how VW could build a less relevant charging network…

VW was very bad in cheating but there newest cheating diesels were actualy cleaner than the “honest” diesel manufactures…

And in the real world all of the manufactures have been passing fraud (legaly) again and will be forced to scrap many of there small “green” gas engines because they polute vastly over the limits in the real world…

VW is no better or worse than GM Ford Toyota Mitisubishi or (insert about any legacy auto manufacture here) in regards to poluting or scandals were there known fault products killed there customers and they worried about the cash…
Also keep in mind every manufacture that has been caught fudging there fuel economy is also fudging there emissions…


VW stands alone. Cite the dates and times of both European and American NOx regulations, and violations, against your own weak links. It doesn’t stack up, Yogurt.

VW isn’t just a car company, pushing the limit. They are one of the least trustworthy companies on the planet.

Weak links? The link to the T&E report in the GCC article is broken, but the T&E study itself is a very comprehensive 30-page report that analyzed the data gathered from the investigations conducted by the British, French and German governments, which included 230 diesel car models. I’ve listed working links to the T&E report at the end of my comment. How exactly is VW more culpable then Fiat, which programmed their cars to ALWAYS completely shut off their exhaust treatment system after 22 minutes, knowing that the emissions test takes 20 minutes to run? What about automakers that abused the “thermal window” loophole that allows automakers to throttle down or completely shut of their exhaust treatment system to “protect” the system from damage in “cold temperatures.” One automaker programmed their system to begin throttling back emissions control when temperatures dipped to a balmy 64 degrees Farenheight or below. Coincidentally, the European emissions test is typically conducted at a 74 to 84 degrees. When the emissions equipment on diesel cars was disabled by whatever means, VW diesel cars polluted much less than he diesel cars of other manufacturers. While the methods used to defeat emissions tests by other manufacturers might… Read more »

Look at Transport and Environment, and you’ll see how small (and for sale) they are. This isnt WVU. This is the US, where Fiat would be nailed, under AECD rules. You’re talking about Europe, where you can get away with it. In the US, its just VW.

SHILL my a**…

VW is just another legacy auto maker that had deep morale issues at the top not unlike every other legacy auto maker at one point or another…

I am just not a fool who thinks the other legacy auto companies are better…

VW did not get caught “fudging”, which yes, they all do, stretching the numbers a little bit.
VW got caught cheating by two orders of magnitude, over 40x, and doing so by designing and implementing software designed specifically to cheat the tests. This is not fudging, this is full-blown fraud.
But it’s worse than that. The reason Eurpoean cities have filthy air today is because Europe has embraced diesel. And Europe embraced diesel largely on the guidance of Germany, and Germany did that largely due to the lobby power of VW.
Of the major companies, no other has done so much harm to public health in the last 30 years as VW.

“European cities have filthy air”.

Exactly – people always worry about the wrong things – and apparently are too easily fooled by a company that USED to have a good reputation, with the beetle for instance.

I never believed the “Clean Diesel” stuff since their products never made a sufficient attempt to rid the exhaust of particulates which is making children in London and Paris sick, and is currently providing the impetus for ONLY electric operation in certain neighborhoods.

Thus the PHEV “charge and hold” function of many euro manufacturers so that arrival at a neighborhood may be made with the ICE off.


Any assertion based on a citation from “The Truth About Cars” website is suspect. They aren’t interested in Truth; they’re just interested in bashing anyone and everyone, regardless of the actual truth. That’s the website that ran the infamous “Tesla Death Watch” blog series, which was about as big a pack of lies as I’ve ever seen, even on the Internet… and that’s saying quite a bit. The only more virulent source of anti-EV propaganda I’ve ever seen is the Tesla bashing blog posts on Seeking Alpha.

“I fail to see how VW could build a less relevant charging network…”

You do? You lack imagination then. Imagine them building CCS-only chargers behind a locked gate, only at VW dealerships, that is only accessible between the hours of 11am and 3pm, and only when and if the dealership wants to let you use it between those hours. Then, ensure that the space around it is ICEd by delivery trucks or company cars at all times.

Then imagine VW selling them off in 18 months because of “lack of use”. Oh sure, I bet you’re thinking “woohoo! Cheap DCFCs!”, except that installation already costs more than the charging station itself anyway.

Chargepoint is considerably less interested in doing this than VW is. Moreover, should they do this, they can claim that each station costs more than it does, thus pretending to use up the money faster than they actually do.

I can’t imagine a better way to motivate VW to take this course of action than by forcing them to build their own charging network.

A committee of some kind to oversee how the money is spent is really the most obvious thing to do. As our friend Hugo from Norway commented on the ChargePoint article on Inside EVs yesterday, there is a government agency in Norway that is involved in the buildout of fast charge infrastructure there.


Thanks Brandon, I wish that other countries would look at the current Norwegian standard for EV charging infrastructure, and learn/steal ideas from that.
Not because we are better in any way, but because we have been through – and learned from – the same painful problems as you guys are experiencing now (only one charger at each location, stupid locations, stupid payment systems, high downtime, extremely stupid free charging for select customers, etc, etc).

I think the most important aspect of “the Norwegian model” is that the minimum standard for the main charging infrastructure is now set through this auction system.

In the US you now have a fantastic opportunity to “do it right the first time” with the money from VW and by learning from others, like Tesla, Norway, Denmark, California, etc.

I include the link to my complete comment on the other article.

Yes, very true Hugo. Thank you for chiming in here! We really do need to learn from others who have done this before. Here’s the most informative article on the subject so far that I’m aware of:

Thank you, Hugo!

I’ve never seen the term “reverse auction” used to refer to contractors competing for the lowest bid for construction, so that’s a bit confusing. But other than that, your post is certainly something all EV advocates should read and ponder.

It doesn’t matter if they have poor service, broken equipment or outrageous (high) pricing; people simply won’t use them unless in absolute desperation. It’s like semacharge and Blink; very expensive and spotty, but one’s glad it’s there when you really need it. Meanwhile, competition could provide better service for most other times.

But giving out free charging will kill _everything_. The competition, of course, will die. But EV will also die when people realize how hopelessly clogged public chargers are that EV will be nothing but single battery range city car. People won’t pay $30K for limited range niche car; well, maybe 1% might like it is today.

Whatever they do, NO FREE CHARGING!

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Agree; no free charging; the infrastructure install is free, but the charging isn’t.

Evgo installs were free for the businesses applying for it and so is the maintenance for x years. The charge was still there to pay for the electricity.

The point would be to build an infrastructure to rival Tesla and allow distance travel to level the playing field for all competitors.

It would be smart utilization of the $2B imho.

+1 to no free charging…

This is a negotiated settlement–emphasis on the negotiated. In a world where VW would not be allowed to spend some of the funds on its own technologies, the total amount of the settlement would be less. Take your pick.

I find it a bit funny that VW is routinely lambasted on this site for not spending enough on their EV technology, but now they’re being lambasted for being allowed to spend money on their EV technologies.

That makes no sense.

This is a penalty negotiation. The alternative option is likely bankrupting VW with a ruinous fine.

If the money is to be spent responsibly, a grant process is needed with bids placed for various corridor projects.

No, the alternative is years of litigation with no clear outcome.

There are a number of alternatives, now if are a talking about likely outcomes, that’s a horse of different color.

You are concerned about a corporation wasting $2b of its own money? It’s going to be spent by VW on EV development in a way that will maximize return on investment for shareholders. That’s the right way to do it. I would be a lot more concerned about the $2.7b that government will get, and will inevitably waste, squander, or misappropriate- as we all know it will do. You are calling for committees to decide where the money goes from the $2b. Why not call on that for the $2.7b that government will get? Or are we just ignoring that, and presuming that our benefactors will wisely appropriate those funds to the best interest of society? HA! It’s going to go into politicians pockets, into their friends pockets, used for political power- with a few crumbs going to society. We all know deep down that this is what’s going to happen. Keep your eye on that $2b that VW is investing internally and see $2b worth of progress. Then check on government’s $2.7b. I guarantee you VW will make more jobs, produce more advancements, and invest more in infrastructure than governments $2.7b which will, after passing through the filter of… Read more »

You are right about the gov wasting money…

The EPA gets how many billions ?? In tax payer funding every years but it took a couple of researchers with 20 k worth of equipment to do there job for them…

The government doesn’t get the $2.7 billion. The $2.7 billion will be put into a trust managed by a trustee appointed by the federal district court in which the case was adjudicated (Northern District of California in San Francisco). The purpose of the trust will be to remediate the excess NOx emissions from the VW diesels cars that are the subject of this litigation.

Under proposed settlement, VW agreed to a $2.7 billion environmental remediation fund with the following terms:

“Pay $2.7 billion over three years into an environmental trust, managed by a trustee appointed by the Court, to remediate excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from 2.0L TDI vehicles.”


How do you remediate NOx emissions? NOx is highly reactive it doesn’t need to be cleaned up nor can you remediate a miscarriage or child having a serious asthma attack.

Probably by lowering future NOx emissions from other sources by an amount equal to or exceeding VW’s excess emissions.

Kubel, If we lived in a free market, than maybe you’d have a case. EV’s don’t maximize shareholder wealth. Free pollution does.

Look no further than the DHL story, to show how “not free” the OEMs make the EV market. I like free-markets, not free-loading polluters like VW.


Mueller “annoyed beyond measure”. Puh-lease. They stonewalled DHL, just like VW would take the 2.0 billion and “build a wall” around its chargers.

Just to play devil’s advocate, what’s stopping VW from spending a big chunk of the $2 Billion (if not all of it) on hydrogen fueling stations, since it’s earmarked to “Fund new infrastructure and access for zero-emission vehicles“? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I don’t see anywhere in the proposed settlement that ZEV refers to only EVs and not also to hydrogen FCVs.

I believe that the proposed settlement settlement language and terms with regards to infrastructure funding are as follows:

“Invest $2.0 billion over 10 years in zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, access and awareness initiatives.”

– So the investment is over 10 years with no minimum amounts required of investment required in any year. Does this mean that VW can invest nothing ($0) in the first 9 years and $2 billion in year 10? That’s the least expensive option for VW when you factor in the time value of money (invest $$$ for 9 years in stocks and bonds, then spend on infrastructure in year 10).

– There is no requirement or breakdown for how much must be invested on infrastructure as opposed to “access and awareness initiatives.”

– What the heck is meant by “access” or is it “access intitiatives?”

LOL! “access and awareness initiatives” means that volkswagen can offer zero emissions vehicles and count any marketing, advertising and promotion spending to promote the vehicles under the category of “access and awareness initiatives”.

you don’t get much reporting on this, but with the exception of tesla, just about every automaker who is developing zero emissions vehicles is investing in research on FCEV technology. indeed, toyota is pretty much all-in on FCEV. a 10 year window means that volkswagen can probably lay back until 2020 or so to get a better sense for where the ZEV market is headed before committing money.

it is highly unlikely that volkswagen would actually wait until the 10th year before spending *any* money because of the impracticality of trying to spend that much money in 1 year. there probably isn’t much that you could start *and* complete in a one year time frame.

If VW actually wanted to ensure that all of the $2B was wasted in a single year, then contracting to build out a bunch of hydrogen fueling stations would certainly be one way to accomplish that goal! That would be throwing money down the rathole whether or not any of those stations was actually completed and opened (however briefly or sporadically) for business.

If it’s few months ago, I would’ve said H spending would be a complete waste. But now I’m not so sure; as bad as H is for now, it’s the only zero tail pipe emission other than BEV, and BEV is being f-ed up by slow charging Leaf that get free charging.

If one company (Nissan) can try to prop up sagging sales (Leaf) by giving free charging and resulting awful experience for all, BEV are simply too fragile. If Leaf is able to charge 80% to 100% in 10 minutes, problem might be less. But the huge taper means all cars I’ve waited for was way over 80% and still had 20 minutes or more of waiting. With bigger battery EV coming and still 50 kW, free charging for them might mean hopeless for any kind of travel with BEV.

At this point, I wouldn’t recommend BEV to any of the people I know in this area other than as a second car for city driving. That’s too bad, because even 82 miles range SparkEV has done over 1000 km in a day if not for needless waiting.

let me start with the point where i agree with the writer: i think that the $2 billion should be a fine paid to the department of transportation. “dieselgate” isn’t about electric cars, so there is no reason why a fine should be earmarked for electric vehicles, but it would make sense for the government to use the funds to advance emissions free automobile development. within the context of this article, the company that i would be *least* trust to spend $2 billion on infrastructure would be tesla. the reason being that tesla is committed to proprietary solutions, a tendency which can be anti-competitive. i don’t buy the concern by the writer that volkswagen AG is going to use the $2 billion settlement to start its own charging infrastructure subsidiary. the reason being is that if volkswagen had wanted to start such a subsidiary, there was nothing stopping them from doing so, settlement notwithstanding. there are reasons why automobile makers (other than tesla) have been chary of getting into the infrastructure business. there is a significant question in my mind as to whether $2 billion spent on charging infrastructure at this time would be money well spent. at present, charging… Read more »

I think that the settlement is genius. VW can not spend $2 billion and get no return on the investment. No company would do that so what this settlement does is force $2 billion worth of investment in zero emission transport. This forces VW to bring cars to market. They won’t spend $2 billion to advertise other people’s EV’s and they won’t build billions of dollars worth of infrastructure for other people’s EV’s.

This settlement forces VW’s hand and in doing so forces everyone else to act as well. Will Toyota sit back while vw builds a monopoly in the USA? IMO VW being aggressive and commercial about this will sort out a whole lot of problems with compliance car attitudes.

Just_Chris said:

“VW can not spend $2 billion and get no return on the investment.”

They could certainly spend $2 billion on development and manufacture of “fool cell” cars. It would benefit them, too… in getting carbon credits from the government.

But otherwise, the only benefit would be to Big Oil, in aiding their “Hydrogen highway” propaganda campaign, whose purpose is to slow or halt the EV revolution.

I am concerned how that Passat came into that parking lot with high curbs in front and behind the car 🙂

Whenever I read these public charger articles – then read the many commentaries…I just love my Chevy Volt that much more! The big logjam of EVs is the fact they take so long to refuel. It takes dedication and planning to do so – and many times thwarted by so many variances and inconsistencies. This is going to take a long time to hash out. Would I just hand a gasser car company with a history of cheating the environmental agencies $2 billion on a promise to build a charging infrastructure wisely? Hell no! Saying that – you guys all point out the difficulties now facing us who seek to get a charge away from home. I think Hugo Hvidsten and Brandon are on the right track. Look to Norway as a template for where to start.They’ve got a good head start on working out the details. As for crowds of drivers waiting 1 hour to charge and another hour to charge their own car? Good luck with that. Multiply the need for charging stations per EV by 20 over gas stations needed per gas car. The sheer time it takes to fuel up creates gridlock and the need for… Read more »

Jeeze.. so much idiocy in these comments… I’m beginning to really wonder if there can be any hope for mankind. 🙁

Nope! May I interest you in a ticket to Mars? 😉

“The only OEM I would trust to do infrastructure implementation properly would be Tesla”???!!! Tom Moloughney you are sick!!! The only thing Tesla cares about is their own self interest and you want to put them in charge?

Talk about a company that has no regard for the industry much less other manufacturers. And to suggest that Tesla charging infrastructure be used as a model when it’s little more a advertising tax write off is ludicrous. The charging infrastructure built with the VW $2B needs to stand on its own after the $2B is spent and Tesla hasn’t proven their whole manufacturing can stand own without investor infusion of money, much less if their charging infrastructure could stand on its own.

“little more a advertising tax write off”?!

Not hardly. It has made long distance EV driving possible. It’s what we want with EVs, right?

Yes hardly. Very few Tesla owners use the Superchargers on a regular basis and if they do they start getting nasty grams from Tesla. I’ve heard time and time again on this and other websites that the main value of the Superchargers is in promoting Tesla sales and that’s advertising.

That’s not the main value for those of us that do use them when we travel. It makes it possible and it makes it easy. There would not be that many Teslas sold if it wasn’t for the supercharger network.

Yeah. It seems a bit incongruous that it is mainly advertising especially if you own or lease a Tesla. So I would add a caveat. It’s advertising if you don’t own one.

I know you have a bone to pick with Tesla about not having multi-standard chargers at the locations, but ignore that for a minute.

What Tom was referring to, Tesla is the only company (OEM or EVSE) who has constructed a nationwide/international cohesive charging network. The elements that make it cohesive are excellent siting, excellent reliability, easy to use, and cost optimized.

With the future “200 mile” BEVs coming, the future public EVSE network needs to look a lot like Tesla’s private EVSE network.

What a joke!

Excellent siting? Yeah out in the middle of nowhere where they hardly ever get used by the very limited number of Teslas.

Excellent reliability? It’s easy for something to be reliable if it hardly ever gets used.

Easy to use? Maybe if you own a $100,000+ Tesla otherwise your out of luck.

Cost optimized? Well I guess if you spend $100,000+ for a car having a couple thousand bundled in there for a charging infrastructure you hardly ever use, the cost is optimized.

Well, you can lead a horse to water…

Yes, excellent siting for the vehicles with 200+ mile range (like all of the announce next-gen BEVs). A DCQC at a grocery store 5 miles from home is no use with a vehicle with 200+ mile range.

As far as usage, I don’t think you have any clue. https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/supercharging-network-usage-dashboard

615 million miles of charge delivered and check out the daily statistics of the site highlighted.

I would like to see ChargePoint, EVgo or anyone else offer up their usage data for comparison.

Actually I don’t think you have a clue and your idolatry is preventing you from see truth. There may be a few Superchargers stations that get used a lot but most of the Supercharger stations I track hardly ever get used. I think your statistics are hogwash manipulated to support your argument.

Cost optimized was referring to the fact that SuperChargers are just a stack of the 10 kW onboard chargers from the vehicles. The same chargers already made in mass production.

The capital cost of a SuperCharger site on a kW or kWh basis is more than ten times cheaper than other DCQC charging sites. The numbers I am comparing were from a major EVSE company and are about 2 years old.

I hope the EVSE companies have gotten more efficient at building the sites recently.

Your confusing Texas FFE with inconvenient facts he chooses to ignore because they conflict with his bias.

Get Real, you would know a fact if it sat on your face.

For those who have not read Texas FFE’s previous rants and/or conspiracy theories on this subject, he’s incredibly jealous of Tesla car owners because he can’t charge his Ford Focus Electric at Superchargers. Apparently he’s convinced himself that (a) Tesla should have been required to cater to his wishes, and (b) Tesla is morally and ethically depraved because they didn’t.

And no, sadly, I’m neither kidding nor exaggerating.

Yep, texas ffe’s conspiracy theories/rants are nowhere near the Trumpster Fire’s stuff but by IEEVS standards they are way up there!

Yep, texas ffe’s conspiracies/rants while not up to the Trumpster Fire’s standards are still impressive for IEEVS!

Driving a Volt, I really will not benefit greatly from anything related to VW’s settlement. Charging at the Volt’s slow rate makes it a lot easier and more conducive to just fill up when the battery runs low and you need more range. I do wish the car had at least 6.6. on board charging and would love to see larger battery and DC capability. Having said all of that, we do need to see that money spent well. Have an agency, the government, or whomever(I know, way too general)take control of the money and apply it towards installation of new DC and Level II locations. Then, auction them out to whichever of the companies would want the site(EVGo, Car Charging Group, Blink, etc). Also, maybe some of that money could go to an incentivizing program for workplace Level I charging. There are many corporations that don’t want to spend the money on workplace Level I, as they don’t see a “ROI”(I work for such a company and have argued this many times,to no avail). If an energy company does not have to assume the cost of installation, then the fees for charging should be able to be reduced. As… Read more »

Perhaps you will stop driving a Volt and start driving a Bolt some time soon as the Volt with its 3 kW charger is kind of a let-down.

Gotta pay off the Volt first!!! And maybe I will be able to pick up a nice used Bolt then.

Imagine if they decided to spend the 2 billion on charging stations by building world-wide superchargers …… at their VW dealerships ! They would in effect be making huge capital investments in their own properties …not what a fine is intended to do. Can they do this under the existing agreement ?

Seems like they can do whatever they want which is the identified problem.

Give the money to Tesla and we are all saved.

Give the money to cheatin’ diesel owners and let them chose their own ZEV.

Would $2 billion dollars even be enough to cover the cash burn over one year of a combined Tesla and Solar City? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Yer terrable, terrable. What do you think they plan on doing on the second floor of the Gigafactory? Print money of course! 😉

A lot of people here are missing the point. This is not VW’s money to invest for their stockholders, it is a FINE they are paying for illegal actions. The money belongs to the citizens of the US and should be invested soleley for OUR benefit. VW should have no say at all in the infrastructure.

Otherwise we will end up with level 1 chargers located at VW dealers so that they can hard sell us on their latest CLEAN gas guzzler while we wait.

A committee representing various interests, including government, will be slow and will make mistakes (look at CA CARB and fuel-cells), but at least they have a chance of making some good decisions.

Although I believe that the Tesla model is a good one, no one company or organization can be trusted with that much funding in such a small economic area.

I’m no legal expert, but it is a settlement, not a fine.

VW admitted their guilt and then settled in order to limit the amount of fines. Call it a reparation, the point is to punish their wrongdoing and they should not be able to profit directly from the funds or use them for their own benefit, such as outfitting their dealers with equipment or choosing a proprietary configuration.

I’m pretty sure that VW did not admit guilt as part of their settlement agreement. Virtually every corporation or individual requires that it make no admission of guilt as a condition for entering into a settlement agreement.

actually, you’re the one who is “missing the point”. the point raised by the writer is that, when it comes to the $2 billion, volkswagen can spend that money as they see fit.

while i don’t agree with the specific theories promoted by the writer of this article, i think that his general observation is valid. volkswagen is going to use that $2 billion to advance it’s own corporate interests in the US. i don’t think that is an inherently bad thing if the main objective the US government was trying to achieve was to generally advance zero emissions vehicles.

as i read the press release, volkswagen can introduce zero emissions vehicles and any money spent on marketing and advertising of those vehicles would count against the $2 billion total as “access and awareness initiatives”. volkswagen could put charging facilities in volkswagon dealerships in the US and that would count against the $2 billion. that hardly sounds like a case in which “the money belongs to the citizens of the US”.

Thanks for writing this up Tom. I had not been following the details of the fines. The let VW do whatever they want to for zero emission infrastructure with no oversight is not desired outcome of the penalty. If VW is like almost every other large company, they will use the money to fund R&D work already planned in their roadmap. A committee would be the easiest way to make sure there was benefit to more than just VW. My opinion is: if VW is not going to commit an additional O&M budget beyond the $2B, they cannot own the infrastructure that is built. Poorly located and poorly maintained EVSEs are a cancer to the development of the plug-in market. Maybe a plan something like: Committee provides a plan of the types of projects desired, region by region. Regional usage data of current EVSEs and regional sales data of plug-ins should be inputs to the plan. EVSE companies submit proposals for sites with: hosts already committed, charging infrastructure to be installed, cost of install, and cost of 5 year O&M (electricity excluded). Committee selects projects based on fit with the plan and cost. The project is funded with the cost… Read more »

I just read Hugo’s comment on the other article. That seems like a more thought out process along the same lines as my thinking.

That has my vote 😉

VW should partner with Tesla for use of their Supercharger Network and charging technology and give Tesla the $2 billion to expand the U.S. network.


They alluded to that with planning on making the Mission-e charging “compatible” with Tesla. Of course Tesla will have to reciprocate and chances of that happening are not very high.

Why all this worry? As I understand it, California will clamber for more Hydrogen dispenser filling stations for the Mirai and Clarity. At $2 million a pop for the larger ones, that’s only 1000 stations – not a super huge amount for a vast state like California.

If ChargePoint is feeling hot under the collar, perhaps its because they charge too much for rental of their network, depend too much on state grants for installation of their hitching-post 30 amp charging facilities, and spend way too much on maintenance for their silly access cards which fail way too often , and their silly locks which fail even during fair weather let alone when it starts to freeze.

The article title and all the banter is missing one key factor – the $2B is not for charging infrastructure (at least not enitrely):
Settlement:”Invest $2.0 billion over 10 years in zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, access and awareness initiatives.”
“$1.2 B 49 states
$800 M California
Plan developed, managed by VW
Approved, monitored by EPA & CARB
Brand neutral education and public outreach
Programs to increase familiarity, car- and ride- sharing
Public charging and/or hydrogen fueling infrastructure”
No percentages on each of the above have been set on either the $800 million for California or the $1.4B for the 49 States, but the charging infrastructure is listed last. The Lions share could go to public outreach/education and car/ride sharing programs. And since CARB is involved and pushing hard for Fuel Cells, a bunch of it will be spent on hydrogen fueling stations in CA.

What if what if what if VW rolled out 350 kW fast chargers like they are partnering to do in Europe theough their Audi brand??
The horror!!
They must be stoped please call lawyers!!
And if they did this wrong it apparently costs 13 million Euros for 25 stations…
What could 2 billion get…


I agree with the point that Tom makes.

This is part of the “fine or settlement” then it should be used to benefit all companies that build EV, not just VW.

There should be some oversight on how the infrastructure money is spent.

I think the $2 Billion should have gone into a fund that builds out the charging infrastructure for interstate travel and grants for commercial buildings (apartments/condos).

Because the city chargers will get less and less use as the EV range goes from below 80 miles where the city EV charger bandaid was necessary for some, to 100+, 200+ and 300+ range EVs that won’t really have a need for city chargers.

Apartment buildings need smart charging systems, that automatically rotate the EVs in and out of inductive charging spaces, or a Rumba type system where the inductive charging pad moves from one EV to the next that are scheduled for charging that night.


Too lazy to read all comments, so excuse me if someone already proposed the following:

The fine money should be used as follows:

Count all existing public charging stations and divide the money by that number (there might be a necessity to weight for the charge rate… Acdc etc).

All companies which already built charging stations get post-paid by VW for the work that they already have done. (the question remains if those companies can/should be enforced to use that money to build out the network… Or if maybe we can omit bureaucracy and just trust them to continue what they already did… (see, I believe in the good human nature… ))

That way all existing charge point companies get a boost while keeping the distortion small.

No way VW can OWN the network which is built by using the FINE !

If vw wants to benefit they shall offer good EVs and earn some money back…


Or go a more communist way:

Build a state owned factory for charge stations and provide those charges for a really low price to those willing to put them in a public accessible location…