Volkswagen spells out first Electrify America phase

VW's Electrify America investment will total $2 billion

Volkswagen has outlined its initial plans for the Electrify America division the German automaker has launched to dot the US landscape with more plug-in vehicle chargers. The $2 billion initiative's first phase will entail spending about $300 million on either deploying or having in the development process as many as 240 highway-adjacent charging stations throughout 39 states.

The world's largest automaker launched the division as part of a settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) over VW's diesel-emissions scandal. VW's primary goal is to develop a highway network of 150-kilowatt fast-charging stations. Additionally, VW will spend about $40 million on Level 2 and lower-speed charging stations.

Electrify America said in February that its effort would involve about 200 high-speed charging stations as well as another 300 stations that would be deployed across 15 metropolitan areas. VW initially estimated that it would pay out four $500 million installments over a five-year period, so it appears that the company will make its investments in smaller chunks.

Electrify America initially set out its spending plans for California, which is by far the US state with the largest plug-in vehicle demand. The project previously said it would build a so-called "Green City" that would include initiatives such as a car-sharing program featuring electric vehicles and a zero-emissions shuttle service.

VW continues to distance itself from its longtime tradition of diesel-vehicle production after it was determined that the company programmed more than 500,000 US diesel vehicles specifically to emit less when they're being tested for emissions levels. Volkswagen stopped selling diesel vehicles in the US in late 2015.

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