EV Fast-Charging Networks Grow From VW Diesel Emissions Settlement

As everyone who lives there knows, New Yorkers are usually in a hurry. Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made it easier to hustle and help decarbonize the atmosphere at the same time.

The governor has made available $11 million of the state's $127.7 million allocation of the federal Volkswagen diesel emissions scam settlement funds to build out the state's network of fast charging stations to support the wider adoption of electric vehicles.

In April 2017, a U.S. federal judge ordered Volkswagen to pay a $2.8 billion criminal fine for "rigging diesel-powered vehicles to cheat on government emissions tests."

U.S. government agencies found that Volkswagen had intentionally programmed diesel engines to activate their emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing. Volkswagen deployed this software in 11 million cars worldwide, including 500,000 in the United States, in model years 2009 through 2015.

Volkswagen pleaded guilty to criminal charges and signed a statement of facts, which detailed how engineers had developed the emissions defeat devices and how the company sought to conceal their use, because VW diesel models could not pass U.S. emissions tests without them.

Now, much of that Volkswagen settlement money will help to make electric vehicles more available.

New York's Direct Current Fast Charger program will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to scale up electric vehicle infrastructure in areas of the state where access to fast charging is limited. The program requires that at least 25 percent of the new stations be located within half a mile of a disadvantaged community.

 

”NEW YORK CONTINUES TO SERVE AS A NATIONAL MODEL FOR REDUCING GREENHOUSE EMISSIONS,” SAID GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO.

 

"As part of our efforts, we must ensure all New Yorkers, no matter where they live or their economic status, have access to the infrastructure required for using electric vehicles," said Governor Cuomo, a Democrat.

"This investment will build the infrastructure necessary for empowering more consumers to choose clean, electric transportation options, while making electric vehicles an accessible option for all New Yorkers," the governor said.

"We are continuing to reimagine New York's future fueled by clean, renewable energy," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This settlement with Volkswagen will allow us to further expand electric vehicle fast charging stations across the state.”

"We want to ensure New York State continues to lead in building back better, cleaner and greener now and in the future," Hochul said, echoing the "Build Back Better" mantra of President-elect Joe Biden, a fellow Democrat.

The time it takes to charge electric vehicles and how far they can travel before another charge is needed have been two of the highest barriers to adoption of EVs, but those barriers are dissolving.

Fast charging or rapid charging is synonymous with Level 3 charging or DC fast charge. These fast-charge stations are high-powered commercial stations that are only found in public places.

DC fast charge stations can charge an electric vehicle at a rate of three to 20 miles per minute. The new ultra-high-speed charging stations just now beginning to be deployed can deliver 250+ miles of range to an EV in under 15 minutes, says EVGlobe, a website that focuses on all vehicles electric.

The transportation sector is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in New York, representing approximately 36 percent of the state's total emissions. Increased use of clean transportation supports Cuomo's goal of an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 established in law last year by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

 

THE NEW FAST CHARGING STATIONS IN NEW YORK ARE BUT A SMALL PART OF WHAT VOLKSWAGEN SETTLEMENT FUNDS ARE DOING TO BRING ELECTRIC VEHICLES TO COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES.

 

With funding from the settlement with the United States, Volkswagen has created Electrify America, investing $2 billion over 10 years in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, education and access.

Already one of the largest public fast-charging networks in the United States, Electrify America is a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group of America, established in late 2016 by the automaker as part of its efforts to offset emissions after the scandal.

Electrify America expects to install or have under development 800 charging stations with about 3,500 DC fast chargers by December 2021. During this period, the company will be expanding to 29 metropolitan areas and 45 states, including two cross-country routes.

Electrify America CEO Giovanni Palazzo, a former head of e-mobility strategy with Volkswagen AG, will be a keynote speaker at the virtual 2020 Reuters Events Automotive Summit at 11:00am ET on Friday, November 13.

Palazzo will share his views about the current state of the electric vehicle industry and look ahead to developments underway for the near future. Palazzo believes that "no one group - or company - can bring electric mobility to life alone."

A video of the presentation will be available on the <a href="https://media.electrifyamerica.com/en-us/">Electrify America media site</a> after the event.

 

Sources: Statements by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo; NY State website; Electrify America website; EVgo; Chargepoint; EVGlobe websites; Wikipedia

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Journalist, founder of Environment News Service (ENS) at: ens-newswire.com, and expert in the field of sustainable mobility in the United States and around the Pacific Rim

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