As part of Volkswagen’s penalty for cheating emissions tests, the automaker agreed to invest $2 billion in electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the US — a piece of its larger $14.7 billion settlement with the federal government and California.
But if VW can’t be trusted to play fair on emissions tests, can it be trusted with spending billions of dollars on clean car infrastructure?
EV charging companies are asking that question and have called for independent oversight of the $2 billion ($1.2 billion nationally and $800 million in California), according to a Reuters report.
Twenty-eight companies, including ChargePoint, EV Connect and Electric Vehicle Charging Association, sent a letter to the US Justice Department on Friday. They said while the money could be a “game changer” for electric vehicles in the US, it could also hurt competition if it’s misspent.
“The agreement shouldn’t pick winners and losers, especially given that this emerging market transition will in no small part define 21st century transportation,” the charging companies wrote.
VW has yet to release its spending plan for the $2 billion.
As part of its penalty for alleged Clean Air Act violations, Duke Energy last month said it will provide $1 million to develop public EV charging stations in North Carolina and an additional $500,000 for the construction of electric bus charging stations.
The company’s EV Charging Infrastructure Support Project is part of a settlement with the EPA and environmental groups, which say Duke illegally modified 13 of its coal-fired power plants in North Carolina without obtaining air permits and installing and operating the required air pollution control technologies.