VW Powers Up Electrify America Initiative

13Volkswagen_Jetta-SportWagen-TDI_AC_10.jpg 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI | photo by Angela Conners

CARS.COM — Volkswagen Group has created a unit called Electrify America to manage the $2 billion pot of money it must spend over 10 years on electric vehicle charging stations and support for zero-emissions vehicles.

The operation will dole out the money that VW is required to spend on ZEV support as part of its $14.7 billion settlement for emissions cheating on its 2.0-liter diesel cars. The unit is wholly owned by Volkswagen Group but will operate independently from the company’s auto business.

Related: VW Will Buy Back or Fix 3.0-Liter Diesels

Electrify America’s CEO will be Mark McNabb, until now VW’s chief operating officer and head of sales in the U.S. Brendan Jones, an electric vehicle expert and former executive with the EVgo charging network and Nissan, will be the chief operating officer. McNabb also will continue to oversee the VW diesel buyback program.

Under the terms of the settlement, 40 percent of the spending, or $800 million, must go to California projects, with the remaining money to be spread over the remaining states. The money will be allocated in four installments 30 months apart, VW says, to fund programs by a range of partners. The projects will include:

  • More than 300 charging stations (Level 2 chargers or DC fast chargers) in about 15 metro areas
  • A cross-country network of more than 200 stations with DC fast chargers
  • Education programs regarding electric vehicles
  • A Green City program in a California city still to be picked that will create mobility pilot projects, VW says, such as a zero-emissions shuttle service, electric car sharing or zero-emissions public transit

The spending will be overseen by and subject to the approval of the California Air Resources Board for projects in that state and the EPA for plans across the rest of the U.S.

VW already has announced as part of its new 2025 strategic plan that electric vehicles will be a big part of its future. It has goals of creating 30 new EV models by 2025 and having EVs account for a quarter of its sales by then.

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