First $300 Million From VW’s Dieselgate Scandal Goes To U.S. Charging Infrastructure

APR 24 2017 BY MARK KANE 53

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen Group’s newest American compliance subsidiary – Electrify America LLC, created to fulfill the redress after the Dieselgate scandal, has detailed the start of its investments.

In total, $2 billion is to be spent on electrification projects ($800 million in California and $1,200 million nationwide, outside California) over 10 years; an amount so large, that it will basically shape the future of America’s public charging infrastructure.

The investments will be divided into four 30-month cycles; respectively $200 million (in California) and $300 million (rest of the US) per cycle.

VW’s Electrify America LLC – National ZEV Investment Plan: Cycle 1

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just released the plan for the first nationwide cycle (Q1 2017 through Q2 2019).

“The Cycle 1 plan: In the first ZEV investment cycle, Electrify America will focus on three activities aimed at increasing the use of ZEVs and showing more Americans that going electric is possible and beneficial today. (1) Installing charging infrastructure (approximately $250 million), (2) Public Education initiatives (approximately $25 million), (3) ZEV access initiatives (under development), and an additional approximately $25 million spent on the operational costs of running Electrify America (e.g., personnel, other business expenses).”

$250 million out of $300 million will go to the charging infrastructure.

$190 million of that $250 million will be spent on fast charging locations on major highways, while $40 million on community charging (L2 and 50 kW DC), the remaining $20 million associated with creditable station operating expenses (e.g., fixed costs).

Electrify America has selected 11 metropolitan areas for Cycle 1 investment: New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, Portland (OR), Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Denver, Houston, Miami, and Raleigh. Government agencies from ten of these metro areas submitted proposals to Electrify America, some of which were the most comprehensive proposals received. Electrify America notes that it was not able to select every metropolitan area that submitted a strong proposal, but it intends to expand its Community Charging investments into metro areas with supportive government policies and strong utility integration in future investment cycles.”

A high-speed highway network (approximately $190 million in capex).

EVgo and ABB deploys Nation’s First High-Power Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Station – 150 kW (prototype)

The first cycle of the project includes the installation of 150 out of total 240 fast charging stations planned – mostly 150 kW (some 320 kW) on average 66 miles apart (no more than 120 miles between the stations).

As for the stations themselves there is a mandate to be able to service five vehicles at a time, via four to ten charging stations per location.

Highway locations will be 150kW/320kW DC fast charging, while metro/city stations will also mix in L2 stations, depending on the charging demand mix.

“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.

A word on the roll-out timelines

These highway sites will be present in 39 U.S. states with higher anticipated ZEV average annual daily traffic (AADT, a Department of Transportation measure of road traffic density on an annual basis) by 2020. The sites will be located on prominent U.S. interstates and highways, and they have high correlation with the recently-announced EV Charging Corridors [Alternative Fuels Corridors 2017]. 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. Also, note that we accounted for existing infrastructure on targeted highways in our methodology to ensure that the network will supplement, not duplicate, investments already made (see Section”

“In order to accommodate the call for faster charging reflected in public comments, the chargers deployed will represent state-of-the-art technology with the fastest charging speeds available. 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.2 Most currently installed non-proprietary DC fast chargers are in the 25-50 kW range; a 50 kW charger can supply about 3 miles of ZEV range per minute of charging. Electrify America’s 150 kW DC fast charging stations will provide about 9 miles of ZEV range per minute of charging, while 320 kW DC fast chargers will provide about 19 miles of range per minute. These faster charging speeds are necessary to refuel the next generation of larger battery capacity ZEVs with all-electric ranges above 200 miles.”

More details can be found here: National ZEV Investment Plan: Cycle 1

source: Green Car Congress

Categories: Charging, Volkswagen

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53 Comments on "First $300 Million From VW’s Dieselgate Scandal Goes To U.S. Charging Infrastructure"

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Will $190M be used to install 150 DCFC or 240? At 150, that works out to $1.27M/DCFC. At 240, that’s $792K/DCFC. Those prices are approaching H stations for FCEV! I don’t see how anyone will make money if stations are that expensive.

It really depends on size and where they build them. A regular gas station can easily cost 2 million. Most of the money is made in the shop. So if VW is clever, they build a shop as well and rent it to someone else.

If everyone’s forced to use DCFC like they have to with gas cars, volume could make it profitable. But DCFC is seldom used, and such high price will make it tough to profit (ie, broken equipment not fixed like Blink).

Also, gas stations typically sell all kinds of stuff other than gas. I don’t think DCFC station cost include anything like that.


Besides using inflated cost interpretation (the cost is per entire site, not per “pump”), you fail to note that VW will be *heavily* subsidizing the install for the vendors.

That’s the main part of the agreement, no?

This means vendors will have to be super-schlumiels to *not* make money on this.

Then… your projections of the future are really still mired in the present.

Americans like to drive far on their spare time. Right now the national EV fleet is not even 0.2% of the total fleet, and many/most of those EVs are designated by their owners for local drive, or are PHEVs.

When you have >5% of the fleet made up of >100-mile BEVs, those stations might be mobbed by drivers stopping for a charge.

That point is 10 years in the future, probably more like 5 years along the Left Coast.

And here’s the beauty: these drivers will have more time to kill on their hands – hence, more to spend, in particular on meals, or at least a coffee and snack.

With VW footing much/most of the up-front bill, this is easily a winning business proposition.

Again, to nail the point home:

The $300 million are a *fine*. They are not intended to make money for VW. Any money-making calculation is to be made only after that is spent.

That is the beauty, and the wisdom of CARB and other government entities involved in this deal that people here are knee-jerking about.

Money should be spent in sustainable manner where profits will allow the system to maintain itself and grow. Willy-nilly spending will result in another Blink, and that’s bad for everyone.

On this point, Sparky is right. If those stations are set up such that they are unprofitable, then they will not be maintained, and within just a few years most or all of the chargers will be out of service.

I hope that money isn’t wasted in such a fashion.

It says 240 sites.
No mention of # chargers per site.

Given the longer charge time and more frequent need to charge (until all sub-300 mile/charge cars are off the road), and looking at the size of typical “rest stop” gas stations, they would need dozens of chargers per site to support an EV penetration > 10%

A $million a pop sounds reasonable for that.

Assuming about $100K per 150kW DCFC unit, each site would have to have about 10 units. Unlike gas stations, they will be sitting idle most of the time. I don’t see how this will be profitable.

8 stall super-chargers, @115KW each charger, cost 250k for the whole shibang. That figure comes from TMC. I can’t verify it any better than that, but $800k for 8 plugs sounds steep. No?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

When gooberment projects like these go OFB (out for bid) they always get price gouged because everyone knows gooberment will still fork out the ca$hola anyway.
The winning bid is usually the one least gouging bid. 😛

Just take a look at the bids to fix the Oroville Dam spillway. DWR was expecting no more than $220-million, all the bids came in over $50million+ over the expectation.

I thought these are to be by private companies? But yeah, if gov’t pays the tab, you can be sure the prices will go through the roof, and higher chances that the companies involved will become like Blink (unmaintained equipment). Just building a bunch without regard to profitability isn’t good.

California part of Electrify America plant was proposing 5 stall highway stations, 2-3 150 kW and 2-3 320 kW stalls.

As far as I understand, these are not 5-10 year free lease parking spots like Tesla chargers, providing in exchange customers to establishment owner. I would guess this includes property and site preparation. Which would raise bar closer to million for green field side, even if you would install nothing serious. Then it depends on land cost, it may cost much more in expensive overcrowded places like California.

Obviously it is not cheap, what else you can expect?
California also has highway electrification plan using single stall 50 kW chargers every 70 miles – see proposed award and project requirements for GFO-15-603, DC Fast Chargers for California’s Interregional Corridors:
It isn’t much cheaper than VW plan and it isn’t significantly cheaper, rather more expensive than hydrogen stations for the same stretch of highway, as long as you need 70 mile distance between chargers.

You need to charge at home most of the time and accept the fact that highway charging will be expensive in battery only car. If it doesn’t work for you, look for alternative technologies.

From the source document:

” The average [long distance network] station will be able to charge five vehicles at once, with station capacity ranging from no less than four and up to ten vehicles charging at a time. “

We added in the PDF with further details, but I think you are right to stress/point it out Ben..will add in a note/some depth on the specific charging plans to the story. Thanks!

The $190 million is for 150 highway charging locations to be completed by Q2 2019 together with another 90 highway charging locations under development but not yet completed (presumably completed in the following year under cycle 2 of the plan).

The per-site cost seems high but VW is installing future-proof transformers and grid connections and possibly putting in conduit or pre-wiring future stalls to make later expansion fast and easy.

The local utilities usually can handle a new 200 kilowatt service, but to serve three 320 kW chargers and two 150 kW chargers at the same time, you need a 1.5 megawatt electrical service from the utility. That is a serious industrial load.

That’s enough power to service about 500 homes with air conditioning. Installation costs probably would include upgrading utility distribution lines and perhaps some sub-station work.

For those who dream of instant-fast-charging, it’s not like charging at home or even a site with a couple of 50 kW DCFC stations – even Superchargers reduce charge rates to each vehicle when their are multiple vehicles charging. These high-kW chargers will be pretty pricey to install.

These will be among the first 150 kW stations deployed, and almost certainly the very first 320 kW stations. Bleeding edge tech comes with a premium. That’s not the long-range cost, just the first couple of hundred stations.

all this is outside CA on this initial installment. $200M coming to CA still.

I hope that SD and UCSD both have placed aggressive plans for these free dollars. Would be great to see I5 and I15 electrified efficiently up/down SoCAL

Doing that every 100miles will effectively address 90% of every current long distance argument in just two freeways.

I also hope more is coming to San Diego area, but most of DCFC expansion in past has been in LA area. Only a handful was added in OC/SD. There are lots of places along I8 as well as some rural highways that could use DCFC.

San Diego is one of the 5 California metro areas getting “community charging” facilities under the VW’s California plans. The plans call for the 5 metro areas to get a total of 350 charging locations with a mix of different facilities aimed at retail and public parking, community fast DC charging depots/plazas, as well as workplace and multi-unit residential AC 7kW charging.

Aren’t there only like 5 metro areas 😀


I mean it’s not like Bakersfield or Fresno are a metro area 😀

Yea, why bother putting charging infrastructure in metropolitan areas which each have a greater population than the entire state of Wyoming?

Does anybody know what “ZEV access initiatives” might mean?

I live in the Seattle area, and and am eager to see some more EV support.

Found the following:

“Numerous government agencies and other stakeholders proposed ZEV access programs
in their comments to Electrify America. A program of experiential initiatives like ride-and-drive
events are being developed to help increase ZEV access and exposure for as many Americans as
possible.3 The purpose of these activities is to increase the public’s awareness of and access to
ZEVs and allow them to experience ZEVs without having to purchase a vehicle.

3 Electrify America will seek written approval for access programs or projects from EPA before Electrify America
makes these investments, as required by Appendix C. “

I remember reading that a Signet Quick charger $50,000 dollars to install.

What I really hope they build are quick chargers in rural areas vs in the middle of cities in that a lot of these areas getting quick chargers have a steady growing quick charger population while you can’t go cross county in a leaf or i-miev.

These will be HPFC locations all across the country that enable long distance travel for the soon to arrive crop of long range EVs. There’ll have 4 or more stalls per location and probably cost around $250k per location.

“an amount so large, that it will basically shape the future”.

I prefer to think of the amount as “small”. Tesla has <1bn in its network.

As far as national infrastructure projects go, finishing highway DCFC will cost less than the federal government spends in **one day**.

At $300 each, VW saved about 4bn not installing SCR on 11mn of its global TDI's. That's "smalls" the number, too.

In earnings measured **every three months** in the billions, OEMs like VW, Toyota, and GM make this look small.

The amount is only large relative to what has been spent so far, but in the context of what we spend on cars, government and oil, this multi-year investment is a tiny screaming deal!! Gets us closer to energy independence, too.

Essentially with 200+ mile range cars and 320kW cars the remaining problem is getting the battery financing model right, purchase or lease.

I would like to see high speed chargers added to all freeway rest areas.

Most now have vending machines.

This would be another service with a fee.

No land cost just use a few spaces in the parking lot with the easiest power access. Make it expandable if the location is busy.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“I would like to see high speed chargers added to all freeway rest areas.”

One would think that would be the best place. Anyone knows that except the elected boneheads in the CA gooberment.

Maybe even the big 3 auto companies would’ve thought to do so to support their EV products, but noooooooo. None of them give a fecal matter.


Those “idiots in the CA gooooooooooooooooooooberment”…

those “idiots” are who just won you $2.6 BILLION to support EV adoption, and who chose to funnel most $$ to get us over the “charging stations are losing $$” barrier.

No, it’s the malicious IDIOOOOOOOOOOOTs in the private charging field, like ChargePoint, who are now suing to try and block this.

Just like the scorpion wanting to sting the frog in the midst of the river-crossing, so that they both drown.

Comment fail anyone?

Charge point is suing to block electrify America? Why would charge point be against ev transition?

Because Charge Point thinks it’s terribly, terribly unfair that it’s not going to get a big piece of the pie of the VW fine!

Personally, I’m very glad that VW is building a new network of EV chargers. Frittering that money away by giving it out in dribs and drabs to existing EV charging networks would be mostly a waste.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

you do know why it was 2.6billion?
So the idiots that run the CA gooberment can siphon/reallocate/spend 75% of those funds to other non EV adoption projects……

Commercialization of rest areas on the Interstate has been prohibited since 1956 when the federal legislation that authorized the Interstate was enacted. Limited exceptions to this prohibition are granted to Interstates built prior to 1960 and to vending activities, priority for which is granted by federal and state law to blind vendors.

This prohibition applies to all Interstate right of ways. I’m not sure if states would have authority to affect this or not, but I doubt it.

Thank goodness that the Kansas Turnpike rest area near Lawrence, Kansas somehow escaped this limitation. It’s great to be able to exit the turnpike for gas and lunch at a restaurant, and be able to immediately get right back on the highway and continue, all without having to go thru toll booths.

There used to be a Howard Johnson’s restaurant there; sadly I see that has now been replaced by a McDonald’s. I’ve eaten at that HoJo more than once.

Right. What you are looking at there is on Toll Roads if it is a stop just off the highway on a dedicated exit. In the US we call these Service Plazas or Travel Plazas.

A Rest Stop is a also called a Rest Area and is found along non toll Interstate highways across the country. No commercial activity is currently permitted there.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I predict a s******* of price gouging for DCFC and AC L2 installations.

What’s the cost of a Tesla SC installation? My guess is any of these public DCFC’s will cost more (twice?) than it’s SC deployment equivalent.

Watch gooberment get bentover and pay anyway.

So firicking what?!
I will be charging in one of these places once or twice a year and i hope they will be expensive so the free luncers wll not crowd them and leave them open for those that are traveling.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

lol, I highly doubt they will be free or inexpensive. They’ll be in the perfect spot to pass down the “Price Gouging”.

I think the bigger question is not how many stations or chargers, or where they will be located. The bigger question is how will ongoing charging be funded?

DCFC charging is not cost-competitive with gas, and won’t be for a long time. So the prospect of building out an enormous national DCFC network, only to have consumers choose to take ICE or PHEVs instead because of the cheaper fuel costs… that is a more systemic problem.

The network likely won’t support itself for almost a decade, but some busy locations will. Fastned just recently announced that they now have two stations that passed the operational break even point.

Here’s the press release:

Fastned saw its first two stations break even in March. This means that the operating expenses, such as the purchase of power, grid connection fees, licence costs, land lease, cleaning and maintenance costs were covered by the revenues generated at those stations. Fastned expects that more stations will pass the break-even point in the coming months.

These sites by Electrify America will have between 4 and 10 charging stalls per HPFC site. Operating expenses are set aside for 10 years by Electrify America.

Actually you might be surprised, HPFCing fees will be close to the equivalent price of gas. That means if gas is $2.50 a gallon then the per kWh rate will be $0.25.

What about central Florida area? I hope we get in cycle 2.

It’s not usually a good idea to charge and EV whilst under water 😀

Shut up…lol I own land in central Florida and need to sell it to global warming deniers before it becomes obvious that the sea level is rising lol “mum” is the word lol

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


Scenic riverfront property in Florida. Buy now at this special price before it disappears!


Fascinating how the EV charging infrastructure in California has been greatly assisted by two HUGE corporate CHEATERS. i.e., Xcel Energy (now NRG), who cheated California during the 2001 electricity “crisis”, and now VW. Part of NRG’s settlement with CA was the installation of 100s of quick chargers (no, they weren’t doing it on their own initiative or altruistically) throughout the state over a period of several years. Most of that is done now, and EVGo’s (dual Chademo/CCS) chargers are quite numerous and dependable. And now VW’s settlement also includes highly favorable terms for California — lucky them!

“Will $190M be used to install 150 DCFC or 240? At 150, that works out to $1.27M/DCFC. At 240, that’s $792K/DCFC. Those prices are approaching H stations for FCEV!” No, you’ve made multiple errors in your premises. A H2 fueling station, at $2 million, can only fuel about 24 cars per day, or a $3 million station about 36 cars per day. In either case, it comes to $1 million for every dozen cars serviced in a day. (And that’s being optimistic, since those H2 stations are so frequently either closed, or restrict their customers to only half a tank.) Contrariwise, the article states “As for the stations themselves there is a mandate to be able to service five vehicles at a time, via four to ten charging stations per location.” Five vehicles at a time for the Electrify America EV charging stations; let’s assume, for the sake of argument, an average charging time of 30 minutes per car (two per hour), and that the station will be fully occupied for 15 hours per day. That yields a capacity of (15 x 2 x 5 =) 150 cars per day. Quite a difference, innit? Also, even if you assume the… Read more »

Oops, that was intended as a reply to SparkEV’s post, the first comment in this thread.