Electric charging networks are benefiting from Volkswagen cheating scandal

 ( Photo: Shutterstock )
( Photo: Shutterstock )

The diesel-emissions cheating brouhaha has caused an expensive and lengthy penance for German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen (VW), the Los Angeles Times reported. California-based electric charging companies are set to benefit from the $2 billion settlement that VW agreed to with the government. As much as $800 million is heading to California, where much of it will be used to build electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

The company created to build this network of charging stations is Electrify America, which has confirmed plans to set up 2,800 chargers in major cities by June 2019. Intended locations are at workplaces and residential buildings like condominiums and apartment, mostly Southern California cities like Fresno, Sacramento, San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. Other cities have yet to be named, but the target is to have charging stations in 17 cities.

Electrify America has so far confirmed three contract recipients: Los Angeles-based Greenlots, El Segundo-based EV Connect and Maryland-based SemaConnect.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity to jump-start electric vehicle adoption,” said Scott Fisher, Greenlot vice president of market development.

The push for EV technology is best promoted with the presence of EV chargers in the workplace, according to Fisher. “The workplace part has an especially strong correlation to EV adoption.” It is a prediction matched by research results from the U.S. Department of Energy, which claims that employees that have access to vehicle charging at the office are “six times more likely” to shift to an EV.

The research results were published by the U.S. Department of Energy in partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality after conducting the Workplace Charging Challenge. The participants ended up saving a total number of 2.4 million gallons of gasoline following their collective shift to EVs – a total greenhouse gas emission reduction of 26 million pounds. DOE said the emission reduction is “the equivalent of early workplace charging adopters each removing 10 average cars from U.S. roads.”

Electrify America is hoping that a chunk of the $2 billion would be allotted for the equipment that can complete charging in 20 minutes.

Greenlots recently set up an EV Fleet Charging Network in Los Angeles through a partnership with the Los Angeles Police District.

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