Volkswagen invests $ 2 billion in a new charging network for electric cars in the United States.
Building the charging stations across the U.S will begin this fall. They will offer more than twice as fast charging as the Tesla superchargers according to VW.
Volkswagen has already, together with three other car manufacturers – BMW, Daimler, and Ford – decided to build a network of thousands of fast-chargers in Europe by 2020.
The VW venture in the United States is a consequence of the deal with the US state after “dieselgate“, by which the German car giant promised a commitment to a cleaner environment. As part of its court settlement with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the DieselGate scandal, Volkswagen agreed to invest $2 billion in electric vehicle infrastructure in the US.
The investments are made through a newly formed subsidiary, Electrify America, which also aims to raise awareness about the benefits of electric cars.
The goal is to build more than 2,500 charging stations in 11 metropolitan areas and along the major highways over the next ten years. The project will be launched in four phases with 30 months period for each. The first phase will be launched this fall and completed in 2019.
VW will provide 450 stations across the U.S. Some 240 stations will be built along the major highways. At each charging station location, there will be a speed charger able to provide up to 320 kW. This means that charging time can be reduced to 15-20 minutes for the next generation electric cars, with greater battery capacity.
There are no specific locations announced yet, but many charging stations will be built in California since VW is required to spend almost half the money in the state under the settlement.
Additionally, some of the money will be spent for general electric vehicle awareness through “ride and drives, multi-channel advertising, website, social media, and educational programs.”
VW’s diesel cheat might end up to be the best thing to happen to EVs since Tesla, it could also pose a serious threat to Tesla’s dominance in the US market. VW is surely planning to capitalize on their investments. One such indication is the company’s investments in electric vehicles.
VW: Electrify America