Volkswagen Reveals Plans for Court-ordered EV Charging Network
A large part of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal penance involves a gargantuan investment into eco-centric technologies and the development of the United States’ electric vehicle infrastructure. The latter should come by way of its Electrify America subsidiary and four $500 million investments separated by four 30-month periods over the next 10 years.
We now know exactly how VW intends to roll out the green carpet with its court-mandated funding.
The money will be divided between urban and highway charging projects with plenty left over for its public education and environmental awareness campaigns. Forty percent of the total sum will be devoted to California, which will likely have the most use for charging stations, but the rest of the country will also see VW-built EV plug-in ports of up to 320 kilowatts — a number that surpasses even Tesla’s Supercharger wattage by a wide margin.
According to HybridCars.com, the initial investments involve Volkswagen spending $120 million on California’s EV charging infrastructure, with an additional $250 million set aside for other states. Of the total, $255 million would be used to construct roughly 300 of the extremely quick charging locations along dozens of interstate and regional highways. The sites are anticipated to house five chargers each but, like Tesla’s 145 kilowatt network, higher volume areas could see stations with as many as ten.
Some locations are expected to finish construction next year, with 200 completed stations expected by mid-2019 — and another 90 or so in 2020. All of the highway chargers are being designed to support a peak charging rate of 150 kilowatts with many reaching 320 kilowatts. That would make long-distance travel in future electric vehicles far more feasible and mimics the joint venture VW currently has in Europe with BMW, Daimler, and Ford. With the exception of Tesla’s Superchargers, most U.S. EV charging points only support between 25 and 50 kilowatts. While not every electric-driven model currently on the road can support that much of a peak charge, some already do and future vehicles absolutely will.
In total, California is expected to see at least 50 highway stations, while the rest of the country will receive a minimum of 240 carefully spaced locations. There will also be another 650 sites in and around metropolitan areas offering 50 to 150 kW charging points. The majority of these will be targeted at shopping centers, parking garages, and places of business. Around 350 of these spaces are slated for California, which has a much higher population of electric vehicle owners.
[Image: Volkswagen Group]
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