Volkswagen's Electrify America Lays Out Cycle 2 Plan for California
Electrify America, which is Volkswagen's court-mandated subsidiary that has been tasked with promoting the adoption of electric vehicles in the United States to the tune of a $2 billion settlement with the EPA, has announced plans for its Cycle 2 phase. For its second round of $200-million investments in California, Electrify America will focus on making improvements to charging infrastructure and adding more cities to the list of available charging points for electric-vehicle owners in the state.
What Cycle 2 Will Focus On
As part of Volkswagen's settlement with the EPA, Electrify America has plans to invest $800 million in California, which is the largest electric vehicle market in the U.S. The subsidiary isn't dumping the money into the state all at once, though, as it plans to have four rounds of investments. Cycle 1 saw Electrify America invest heavily in large cities in California, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and San Jose. The first plan began in 2017 and is expected to be completed in June of 2019.
With Cycle 1 coming to an end in less than a year, Electrify America has announced plans for Cycle 2, which will see it, once again, focus primarily on California and invest an additional $200 million into beefing up the state's available chargers over the next 30 months, running from July of 2019 to the end of 2021. While Cycle 1 was all about California's large cities, Cycle 2 is predominantly centered around more rural areas and the development of fast-charging stations along highways and more remote regions. New metro areas that have been added to Electrify America's Cycle 2 plan includes Riverside-San Bernardino, Santa Cruz-Watsonville, and Santa Rosa.
In addition to adding new chargers to rural areas, Cycle 2 is also aimed toward making it easier for consumers to charge their electric cars at home. Adding a Level 2 charger at a personal location can not only be expensive, but also difficult, Cycle 2 is looking to change that, especially for those that live in apartments by giving owners of buildings more incentives to add chargers. The last part of Cycle 2 involves offering electric vehicles with "financial rewards" if they plug in at a specific time that helps support the grid.
Electrify America's Goal For California
"In developing our plan, we conducted a robust outreach process to solicit input and met with leaders in California communities, government and business to inform our decisions" said Giovanni Palazzo, president and chief executive officer of Electrify America. "Our goal to establish one of the largest, most technologically advanced and customer-friendly charging networks in the U.S. remains. We want to demystify what it means to own and drive electric vehicles by making chargers more visible, more convenient, and more a part of the everyday lives of Californians across the state."
As part of Volkswagen's settlement for its emissions-cheating diesel vehicles, the rest of the $1.2 billion will go to the other states.
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