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First $300M tranche of VW National ZEV investment targets charging infrastructure; 150kW+ fast charging on highway network

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published the plan for the first tranche of Volkswagen’s National Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment spending, directed at 11 cities nationwide—New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Portland, Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Denver, Houston, Miami, and Raleigh—and several highway corridors.

As a part of the first cycle of investment, Volkswagen’s “Electrify America” program is earmarked to spend $300 million, with the most focus on the installation of hundreds of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at multi-family residences, workplaces, highway rest-stops, commercial and retail sites, and municipal lots and garages.

Background. As required by Appendix C to the 2.0-Liter Partial Consent Decree entered by the US. District Court for the Northern District of California on 25 October 2016, Volkswagen Group of America is investing $1.2 billion over the next 10 years in zero emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, education, and access outside California to support the increased adoption of ZEV technology in the United States, representing the largest commitment of its kind to date. Volkswagen Group of America has created Electrify America LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary headquartered in Reston, Virginia, to fulfill its Appendix C commitments.

The $1.2 billion commitment will be spent in $300 million increments over four 30-month cycles.


First tranche. In the first ZEV investment cycle, Electrify America will focus on three activities aimed at increasing the use of ZEVs.

  1. Installing charging infrastructure (approximately $250 million);

  2. Public Education initiatives (approximately $25 million); and

  3. ZEV access initiatives (under development), and an additional approximately $25 million spent on the operational costs of running Electrify America (e.g., personnel, other business expenses).

Electrify America plans to build charging infrastructure that will primarily consist of (1) community charging and (2) a long-distance highway network. In addition, other use cases/technologies are also under consideration including targeted battery storage to manage peak demand and ease grid loads, etc.

Electrify America stations will be designed to provide access by supporting multiple non-proprietary and interoperable charging technologies to meet different needs. Level 2 AC charging (L2) with universally accepted J1772 connectors will serve charging at long dwell-time locations. 50+ kW Direct Current (DC) fast charging will serve ZEV needs in shorter dwell time situations and along highway corridors, utilizing non-proprietary charging standards (CCS and CHAdeMO).

Electrify America will build a long-distance high-speed highway network consisting of charging stations along high-traffic corridors between metropolitan areas and across the country, with an initial target of approximately 240 highway sites installed or under development by the end of the first cycle, more than 150 of which are expected to be completed.

Sites will be, on average, about 66 miles apart, with no more than 120 miles between stations, meaning many shorter range ZEVs available today will be able to use this network. Stations will focus on 150 kW and some 320 kW DC fast chargers, which will also be capable of charging 50 kW capable vehicles at a lower power level.

Electrify America’s 150 kW DC fast charging stations will provide about 9 miles of ZEV range per minute of charging, while 320 kW DC fast chargers will provide about 19 miles of range per minute.

Electrify America will also support open protocols including Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) that allow more standardized communication between different chargers and networks.

Electrify America will seek access agreements with owners of other charging networks to make it easy for as many ZEV drivers as possible to move more seamlessly between different charging networks.

Charging stations will be located first in the areas with the highest anticipated ZEV demand, based on the forecast penetration rates of ZEVs in each region and the estimated gap between the supply and demand of charging infrastructure in those regions.

Within selected metros, Electrify America plans to build 300+ stations across five major use cases (multi-family homes, workplace, commercial/retail, community, and municipal lots/garages).

In aggregate, the Electrify America first cycle investment will aim to establish a network of approximately 2500+ non-proprietary chargers across 450+ individual stations.

In parallel with the National ZEV Investment Plan, VW and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released the California ZEV Investment Plan on 8 March 2017, outlining the plans for the first $200 million to be spent in California. In this plan, Volkswagen and CARB prioritized ZEV infrastructure build-out in areas with high anticipated ZEV demand and around disadvantaged communities throughout California, noting the potential for significant decreases in air pollution as a result of this ZEV build-out.

This plan is part of a multi-part $15 billion settlement agreement in the US, as a result of the VW emissions testing cheating scandal, and comes on the heels of Volkswagen settling separately with 10 states in late March.



I think the 2018 Bolt may well be upgraded to use faster charging, now the chargers are being built.


I forgot to add that GM tell us that there was considerable debate before they decided what speed of charging to enable in the first Bolt cars.

Faster chargers and the supposed advent of the Model 3 provide incentive to move on.


I rather them skip the 25million for education.

Even if every commercial on prime time tv was promoting EVs I don't think the public would change it's buying habits that much. Any change could be within a margin of error i suspect.

People buy cars namely for utility/comfort, and with cars being such a large part of the budget many wont consider EVs until they can replace the lifestyle they have with their current cars today, that and most cant afford the step up to electric.

I don't know if it's wise limiting yourself to 150kw chargers. If like many on here are speculating, we'll see cars and trucks with over 300kwhs of batteries. Why not put in infrastructure to handle the future, not just something to satiate cars of today, 500kw would be better, and then you could slow the charge rate if needed.

You have to think about gas stations, if 30 cars can fill up in 30mins on a normal volume station, what's it going to be like if you have people waiting 30-120mins to recharge? Will there be Charge lines like gas lines in the past?

The bigger the batter the bigger the sink, meaning you could charge at a faster rate if all other things remained the same.

We need to plan this EV future, not just start something that has to be replaced in 5 years. That is the only way it's going to work well. Hydrogen has 2 fill styles and that's it, but you can use either on the current crop of FCevs, battery electric cars have a variety and I think that it will hurt it in the long run not to set high standards right away.

Look at SD(HC,XC) cards vs Compact flash (sd cards had to re-release every few years because of demanding devices, where as compact flash had a large capacity to begin with). HDMI vs Display Port(HDMI had to be updated several times sometimes yearly just to keep up with displays where as DP has been relatively capable from the start). Blu-ray vs HDDVD(read speeds are an issue on Blu-ray but not hddvd, but both can carry similar amounts of data as a triple layer hddvd was possible from the start, and the cost of the disc and the laser were much less than Blu-ray), there launches in technology that go mainstream popular when there are other better thought out standards in existence. Many times its the player with the most backing that win out.

Bev "gas" stations will look like parking lots if we don't put a lot of forward thinking to this. Cars may very well take advantage of a 500kw charger, and hd vehicles might need 1000-2000kw.

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