Clean diesel was an interesting idea, but the Volkswagen scandal proved that it is not a reality at this time.
Now, Volkswagen is throwing their funding behind a plan to “electrify America.” This ambitious plan will provide fast-charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles all over the nation.
The Cleanest Car
Cars are ultimately hard on the world. They require roads, pollute the air, and create problems with noise and traffic. However, they are a reality of modern life, and it is important that people make them as green as possible. Cars should be designed to be as energy-efficient as possible. They should be recycled when their time on the road is over. They should run on a clean source of fuel.
The Problems of Clean Fuel
Finding a clean source of fuel has been hard to do. Electricity, while it is not all from green sources, can be generated in a number of environmentally-friendly ways. However, infrastructure has made it difficult to use electric cars. People can pull over and put gas in their vehicle in five minutes, just about anywhere. VW’s plan to electrify America is about making electric cars more practical to drive.
Two billion dollars will be invested over the next 10 years in Volkswagen’s National Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment Plan. The program is part of Volkswagen’s settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, relating to the diesel emission scandal that found that Volkswagen’s diesel vehicles were programmed to fool smog tests. This much money will change the landscape of ZEV charging stations.
How Much, Where and When?
The plan funds stations in 39 states, but the largest part will be invested in California, the state with the greatest demand for ZEV infrastructure. Totaling $800 million, the California charging stations will initially be funded with $200 million during the first 30 months of the plan. The rest of the total $500 million in the first 30-month phase of the plan will be distributed to other states.
In the 10-year plan, the remaining $1.2 billion will be spread across the rest of the United States to ultimately create 2500+ charging stations along high-traffic corridors. The non-proprietary fast-charging stations will be located at more than 450 sites across the country by the end of 2019. At some 240 stations outside the state of California, 320 kilowatt (kW) chargers will be able to charge some of the next generation electric vehicles at a rate of approximately 19 miles per minute of charging.
Because range is always an issue with electric vehicles, the stations will be spaced an average of 66 miles apart. None of the stations will be more than 120 miles from the next station in the area, to make driving shorter-range ZEVs more practical. Some of the 150 kW and 50 kW stations will be community-based instead of part of the high-traffic corridor plan.
Usable for All Cars (Almost)
The super fast 320 kW chargers will be accompanied by 150 kW and 50 kW chargers and will support all of the major brands of electric vehicles available in the U.S. Major vehicle brands include all German cars, Nissan and Mitsubishi, and all U.S. vehicle manufacturers except Tesla. Famed electric-vehicle giant Tesla maintains their own proprietary charging network and will not be funded by this plan.
Volkswagen Educates the Public
Volkswagen will also launch an educational campaign about the benefits of electric vehicles during the roll-out of this ZEV infrastructure plan. The campaign will cover how ZEVs work, but more importantly, how practical owning one can be with modern infrastructure. It will also cover how electric vehicles have changed over the years.
“Electrify America” Set to Make a Difference
It may be powered by a settlement resulting from the biggest green vehicle scandal of all time, but the effects of Electrify America will be felt across the nation. Modern electric vehicles can offer all of the features that gasoline cars do, except for the ability to refuel easily at any gas station. If the infrastructure is supported, electric vehicles can become more and more common on the streets of America, furthering the goal of reducing harm to our planet.