Electrify America, the organization created out of the Volkswagen diesel scandal to promote the use of electric vehicles, plans to invest $200 million in Zero Emission Vehicle infrastructure primarily in California.
The investment, which will start next summer and take 30 months to complete, will follow a plan outlined originally by the California Air Resources Board to raise awareness of electric-charging capacity.
Electrify America was established to implement the $2 billion ZEV Investment Commitment outlined in Volkswagen’s court-approved settlement involving 2.0-liter TDI diesel vehicles.
The investment will build on Electrify America’s initial priorities and expand into new areas, where the need for electric vehicle charging stations and technology are greatest or most likely to be used regularly.
(Nissan, EVgo complete 500-mile charging network. Click Here for the story.)
“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,” he added.
“While barriers are disappearing, we still have more than 50% of Californians who are unaware — or practically unaware — that there are electric cars that are actually available,” Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, said on a conference call with reporters this week.
(Click Here for more about the challenges mass EV charging presents.)
“We’ve also planned to further support ZEV adoption through services that are used by Californians every day – buses, shuttles, ride hail services – by providing more access to charging for those vehicles,” said Brendan Jones, chief operating officer, Electrify America.
The central focus of electric vehicle charging infrastructure investment will shift to more DC Fast Charging stations within metro areas, where electric vehicle drivers are expected to charge most often. Nine metropolitan areas across California will be involved in the program, among them Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose-Sunnyvale.
Metro areas are expected to account for 89% of expected battery electric vehicles in operation through 2022, according to a 2017 Navigant report.
(BCG study forecasts 50% of vehicles sold in 2030 will be “electrified.” For the story, Click Here.)
The DC Fast Charging stations will be placed in retail locations but also consider the needs of adjacent multi-unit dwellings where Level 2 residential charging deployment is oftentimes challenging. Electrify America also will invest in DCFC stations specifically targeting shared mobility drivers — car share, taxis and transportation networking company drivers.