Volkswagen To Invest $10M In EV Charging Infrastructure Through 2016
Hoping to encourage federal investment, Volkswagen is putting up $10 million for EV charging stations to be ready by 2016.
Part of that investment includes the previously announced partnership with BMW and Chargepoint to install 100 DC Fast Chargers on the East and West coasts of the United States, where no two stations will be further than 50 miles apart to better facilitate increased use of EVs.
That said, Volkswagen of America vice president of product marketing and strategy Jörg Sommer would like to see “Federal financing support for establishing fast charging networks in urban areas and interstate corridors” alongside the support automakers and other companies are already putting into place. Sommer adds that he’d like for state and federal agencies to adopt greater numbers of EVs and PHEVs into their fleets, as well as more congressional support of “the mid-term review of the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulation to extend the multiplier credits for plug-in vehicles beyond MY21.”
The $10 million investment is part of a so-called “holistic approach to e-mobility” surrounding the automaker’s 2015 e-Golf, which also includes providing customers with the opportunity to install solar and home charging systems from partners SunPower and Bosch.
Chargepoint tells me that "many" of these stations will be CHAdeMO as well as CCS. That's good news for Leaf and Tesla drivers since there are already quite a few DC chargers between Boston and Virginia.
The Chargepoint story seems to be double talk. "The installations will occur both within and between relevant metro areas" "...particularly along the most heavily trafficked portions of both coasts" "Installations have already begun on the west coast, with the first location in San Diego County" "[Chargepoint will] pick strategic locations either where drivers currently charge, or to fill in spaces where there is currently a lack of infrastructure" In other words, they're going to place chargers where EVs are already popular (San Diego County), or in heavily traveled corridors where there is little risk. But for those of us in 'irrelevant' flyover country (western PA), we're stuck with two Level 3 chargers so far apart they're useless for traveling. Ohio has one Level 3 charger, and West Virgina has none. When you only go to the popular areas, how does this boost EV adoption?
"When you only go to the popular areas, how does this boost EV adoption?" Interesting question. This is indeed a chicken vs egg scenario. In my humble opinion, one thing that has further slowed EV adoption is the diversity of charger formats. Having myself being in the wrong side of the Beta/VHS war, I learned a valuable lesson: don't fight a proxy war for the manufacturers. And discarding an old VCR is no major economic impact (although early models were indeed very pricey), but imaging getting yourself stuck with a vehicle whose re-sale value is next to nothing?
So what they are saying is that gasoline won't be $2.10 forever? ;)