WASHINGTON D.C., Feb. 10, 2015 — During today’s 2015 Electric Drive Congress in Wash. DC, Volkswagen of America, which was awarded Motor Trends’ North American Car of the Year for its 2015 all-electric eGolf, announced a $10 million commitment to support electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. However, VW vice president Jörg Sommer stressed “continued legislative support is needed to reach the next level of electric vehicle adoption.”
Sommer said while automakers have “effectively delivered EVs that can satisfy the needs of most American drivers,” there’s still a long way to go towards electrifying America. During the presentation, Sommer said the following is needed to make electric driving a reality:
–Federal financing support for establishing fast charging networks in urban areas and interstate corridors.
–More state and federal organizations committed to cleaner fleets by purchasing EVs and PHEVs.
–Federal purchasing guidelines should reflect that by giving fleet purchasers the flexibility they need.
–Further Congressional support with the mid-term review of the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulation to extend the multiplier credits for plug-in vehicles beyond MY21.
Part of the $10 million investment includes the previously announced deal with Chargepoint to build a series of “express charging corridors along the most heavily-traveled routes on the East and West coasts.” The goal of the program, which is also being funded by BMW, is to install about 100 direct current (DC) fast chargers about 50 miles apart on both coasts.
The rest of the $10 million “commitment,” so says VW, includes installing mre charging stations at “certain dealer locations” as well as “to facilitate local, state and regional infrastructure deployment” so government regulators reinforce VW’s efforts at supporting mass EV adoption.
What else is VW doing to bring a more “holistic approach” to driving? VW has now partnered with SunPower “to provide qualified U.S. Volkswagen e-Golf customers the opportunity to install a high performance solar system” and “have the opportunity to purchase home charging installation and hardware packages from Bosch.”
On a recent road test of a 2015 e-Golf, this automotive journalist was highly impressed with VW’s first EV. The challenges on this test had nothing to do with the car itself, but in charging it fully each day without an at-home charging unit. Hopefully, VW’s investments in EV infrastructure – especially DC fast chargers – will bring many more much-needed charging units to make EV driving less challenging and more of a reality to American drivers and new car buyers.