Volkswagen’s been fined and penalized to the tune of about $30 billion for its dieselgate scandal and now some cash is going to be put in to practice as the company announced it will begin installing 2,800 electric vehicle charging stations around the U.S.
Through its Electrify America subsidiary, VW will spend $2 billion to install the chargers at about 500 sites in 17 of the largest cities across the U.S. The first stations should be functional by next summer, according to the company.
The company will spend $800 million of the $2 billion in California, where the bulk of electric vehicles are in service. However, several other “non-EV” areas will see charging stations installed in areas like housing developments or office complexes.
“One of the biggest barriers to the mass-market adoption of electric vehicles is access to chargers,” Mark McNabb, chief executive officer of Electrify America, said in a statement.
(BMW partnership aimed at developing new EV batteries. Click Here for the story.)
While the plan is to put them in more than a dozen cities around the country, California is really the focus of the effort. Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento and Fresno will all get stations in the first round of construction.
How many will be installed at each location is still being reviewed, but overall California is to get chargers at 217 workplaces and 60 multi-unit dwellings. They are Level 2 chargers and will take several hours to charge.
By comparison, Tesla’s nationwide network of superchargers numbers 5,400 and it toon nearly five years to get them done with a goal of having 10,000 complete by the end of the year. The Palo Alto, California-based EV maker also has about 9,000 “normal speed” chargers in place and planned to have that number up to 15,000 by the end of this year.
(To see more about Toyota launching 10 EVs by the early 2020s, Click Here.)
Electrify America plans to use part of the $2 billion to build a coast-to-coast network of “fast chargers” that can add a couple hundred miles of range in 20 minutes. The project is expected to be complete by 2026.