Author Topic: VW to spend billions on charging stations in US  (Read 217 times)

Richard230

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VW to spend billions on charging stations in US
« on: April 16, 2017, 08:00:16 PM »
According to an article in my newspaper today, written by Louis Hansen of the Bay Area News Group, VW has proposed an $800 million settlement with the state of California to atone for their diesel-engine emission-cheating scandal. As part of the settlement, VW plans to spend billions in the U.S. to build charging stations and to promote electric vehicle use across the country.

In California, VW agreed to spend $1.2 billion through two separate programs: $381 million for pollution mitigation and $800 million in an infrastructure trust fund. There is currently (not surprisingly) an argument over how those funds will be spent between environmentalists, lawmakers and EV charging companies. Opponents of building charging stations along freeways and well traveled highways claim that the deal could dampen competition in the charging station market and ignores poor communities most affected by air pollution.

VW proposes to allocate the funds in $200 million, 30-month phases over the next 10 years. The first phase would spend about $120 million to build charging stations, $45 million for community facilities and $75 million for a high-speed highway network throughout the state.  The state wants to see 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025.  (Each paying an additional $100 per year surcharge over ICE vehicle yearly licensing fees, of course.  ::) )

Interestingly, ChargePoint is opposed to the proposal as they feel that the VW charging station plan would "drown out all other participants in the ZEV infrastructure market through enormous spending."  ChargePoint wants the state to earmark at least 35% of the investment, above the current 25% goal, to disadvantaged communities. ChargePoint says that VW plans to build mostly "high speed charging stations at highway exits rather than community charging stations and workplaces, multifamily housing, and retail stores." (I would argue that those locations are not likely to generate very much usage and therefore would not be very profitable, compared with VW's plans.) Various state legislators and members of Congress, as well as the Central California Environmental Justice Network say that many poor, rural communities have no charging stations, discouraging residents from buying green cars.
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Shinysideup

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Re: VW to spend billions on charging stations in US
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2017, 01:31:22 PM »
Hmm... both sides make valid points.

But from my experience over the past 3 years, once a vehicle is chosen based on having range sufficient for its intended purpose, 99% of charging occurs at the owner's residence or place of work.

If EV owners live in smaller, poorer towns and want to travel longer distances, it seems to me they would benefit as much as anyone else from having charging stations at the exits of major highways.

I may be mistaken, but if I'm living in rural Tiny Town and want to drive in my area, would I really benefit from having a station in my town or neighboring Smallville, rather than just charging at home?

Richard230

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Re: VW to spend billions on charging stations in US
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2017, 05:04:56 PM »
For the past three years there has been a level 2 charging station in Pacifica, behind the Linda Mar Safeway store.  I have yet to see anyone use the facility and it appears to be rotting away.  Another case of locating a charging station in the middle of a heavily populated residential town where everyone is likely charging at home and anyone passing through town is close to San Francisco where they are likely close to their destination. No one goes to Pacifica (they just pass through the town) unless they are surfing at the beach and I don't think surfers drive electric vehicles.  ;)
current bikes: 2014 14.2 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2007 BMW R1200R, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

Richard230

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Re: VW to spend billions on charging stations in US
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2017, 05:34:21 PM »
Here is the latest news from California, according to an article in my newspaper today, written by Louis Hansen of the Bay Area News Group:  State regulators yesterday approved VW's plan to invest almost $1 billion in CA's EV infrastructure network. The plan would have VW spend $800 million over 10 years in the state to further the use of electric vehicles. San Jose and San Francisco are two of six cities that will receive expanded community charging stations.  A VW subsidiary, Electrify America, will also target low-income communities for at least 35% of the EV projects. Critics say that the plan could chill competition and innovation and snubs hydrogen fueling stations.  ::)

In California, VW agreed to spend $1.2 billion through two separate environmental programs:  at least $381 million for cutting pollution and $800 million for the infrastructure trust fund. The rest of the country only gets $1.2 billion in total for EV support.   ???

ChargePoint isn't happy about the deal. They are concerned that the plan could chill other EV charging investments throughout the state.

"The Electrify America investment plan will bring charging stations along highways and into over-looked neighborhoods, helping define the state's electric vehicle corridors for years."  The first phase of the plan calls for $120 million to build 400 charging stations with between 2,000 and 3,000 chargers.  About $75 million will be used to develop a high-speed, highway charging network, mostly consisting of 150 kW fast chargers.  The other $45 million will build community charging stations in six metro areas.  Another $44 million will build a "Green City" in Sacramento (the state capitol).  It will provide access to zero-emission vehicles to low-income residents, through ride-sharing and other programs.   ???

Several Air Resources Board members expressed concern over whether Volkswagen would live up to its promises.
current bikes: 2014 14.2 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2007 BMW R1200R, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

Shinysideup

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Re: VW to spend billions on charging stations in US
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 07:34:03 PM »
... Several Air Resources Board members expressed concern over whether Volkswagen would live up to its promises.
Only if they want to sell vehicles in California?