VW spending $10 million on EV infrastructure, calls on Congress for help

VP Jorg Sommer: 'This Should Be A US Government Priority'

  • Image Credit: VW
It must be the season of big EV infrastructure announcements. In the last few days, we've heard from Bollore in France, PG&E in California and now VW. The German automaker says it will spend a total of $10 million on electric vehicle charging infrastructure by 2016. That includes the previously announced ChargePoint investment VW made with BMW and work the automaker is doing to get chargers for cars like the e-Golf installed as its dealerships.

But Jörg Sommer, Volkswagen of America'sl VP of product marketing and strategy, said today in Washington, DC that automakers need help from the federal, state and local governments to turn electric mobility into a thing. Speaking at the 2015 Electric Drive Congress, Sommer said VW would like the Feds to support fast charging networks in urban areas as well as interstate corridors and that governments should "commit to cleaner fleets by purchasing EVs and PHEVs. This should be a US Government priority," he said. He also suggested that the plug-in vehicle multiplier credits under the EPA's greenhouse gas regulations should be extended beyond the 2021 model year.
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Feb 10, 2015

Washington, D.C., February 10, 2015 – Jörg Sommer, vice president, product marketing and strategy, Volkswagen of America, today presented Volkswagen's holistic approach to e-mobility surrounding the launch of the zero-tailpipe emissions 2015 e-Golf, including a $10 million commitment to support electric vehicle infrastructure by 2016. During a presentation delivered at the 2015 Electric Drive Congress in Washington D.C., Sommer stated that Volkswagen believes continued legislative support is needed to reach the next level of electric vehicle adoption.

"Automakers have effectively delivered electric vehicles that can satisfy the needs of most American drivers," said Sommer. "In addition to the investment we and other companies and industries are making, we would like to see Federal financing support for establishing fast charging networks in urban areas and interstate corridors. We'd like to see more state and federal organizations commit to cleaner fleets by purchasing EVs and PHEVs. This should be a U.S. Government priority, and federal purchasing guidelines should reflect that by giving fleet purchasers the flexibility they need," Sommer said. "We need further congressional support with the mid-term review of the EPA's greenhouse gas regulation to extend the multiplier credits for plug-in vehicles beyond MY21".

Sommer discussed the programs that Volkswagen has invested in including the recently announced initiative with Chargepoint to support development of express charging corridors along heavily-traveled routes on the East and West Coasts. Designed to increase the number of fast charging locations, the initiative will help meet the large and growing demand for convenient, publicly available electric vehicle fast chargers, including direct current (DC) Fast charging locations, and support the adoption of electric vehicles in the United States. The goal of the Chargepoint program is to install nearly 100 DC Fast Chargers across both coasts aiming to have charging sites no more than 50 miles apart.

This investment is one piece of a $10 million commitment Volkswagen has announced to support the electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The company will also invest to support installation of charging stations in certain dealer locations. To facilitate local, state and regional infrastructure deployment, Sommer suggested that the regulators will also need to support programs that reinforce these efforts to support mass electric vehicle adoption including the Department of Energy's Clean Cities program and the Department of Transportation's MAP-21 program.

Sommer explained the Volkswagen Group's global commitment to become more environmentally conscious from sourcing, to manufacturing, to the cars on the road and beyond. This commitment has been a guide in Volkswagen of America's holistic approach to e-mobility and the launch of the e-Golf. Through strategic collaborations, the company addressed the forward thinking lifestyle and preferences of the EV customer: Volkswagen of America (VWoA) teamed with 3Degrees, a renewable energy and carbon offset services provider. Under a carbon reduction/offset program, Volkswagen will help offset the e-Golf greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from its production, distribution and from the estimated emissions produced from keeping the vehicle charged through the initial 36,000 miles of the vehicle's life.

Other initiatives supporting VWoA's holistic approach include an arrangement with SunPower to provide qualified U.S. Volkswagen e-Golf customers the opportunity to install a high performance solar system. In addition, e-Golf customers will have the opportunity to purchase home charging installation and hardware packages from Bosch.

2015 VW E-Golf Design

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