VW's Electrify America submits electric-car charging plan to EPA, CARB: now what? Page 2


Energica Eva at Golden Gate Bridge on California 1 tour from LA to San Francisco

Energica Eva at Golden Gate Bridge on California 1 tour from LA to San Francisco

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In addition, $40 million will go to local "community" charging infrastructure—including a mix of DC and 240-volt Level 2 AC stations—in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, and Sacramento metropolitan areas.

Around $15 million cover maintenance and some of the operating costs for these stations, although user fees are expected to cover the majority of electricity costs.

All charging infrastructure will be designed to be universally accessible, and in no way favor VW vehicles.

That will mean equipping fast-charging stations with CHAdeMO plugs alongside the CCS plugs used by Volkswagen electric cars (Tesla sells a CHAdeMO adapter allowing cars built for its proprietary Supercharger standard to interface with those stations).

Volkswagen will also make efforts to create a flexible payment structure, perhaps finally finding a way around the myriad cards and fobs electric-car drivers still need to access public charging stations, which are operated by multiple private networks.

As stipulated by California, VW will also spend $44 million for a "Green City Initiative," which will see one California city become a testing ground for new services intended to further reduce emissions, including a ZEV shuttle service, a car-sharing service, and some unspecified application of zero-emission vehicles in public transit.

2015 Nissan Leaf at ChargePoint fast charger at DeCormier Nissan, Manchester, CT [photo John Briggs]

2015 Nissan Leaf at ChargePoint fast charger at DeCormier Nissan, Manchester, CT [photo John Briggs]

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Notably, the draft plan does not include any funds for hydrogen fueling infrastructure, something California had advocated for.

Beyond infrastructure, Volkswagen plans to spend $20 million in California and $25 million nationwide on promoting zero-emission vehicles, primarily through television ads.

The automaker has already met some suppliers and reportedly hopes to begin contract negotiations soon.

While network operator ChargePoint loudly criticized the idea of giving VW domain over such a major expansion of charging infrastructure, the automaker is expected to work with existing suppliers to a significant degree.

Additional details about the draft plan will be discussed at a public CARB meeting in Riverside, California, March 24.

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