Volkswagen has launched a US subsidiary, called Electrify America, to manage the $2 billion the automaker agreed to spend in support of zero-emissions vehicles and charging infrastructure in the wake of its emissions cheating scandal.
According to the Electify America website, VW will install more than 500 electric vehicle charging stations nationwide beginning this year. This includes more than 300 chargers in about 15 metro areas and developing a high-speed, cross-country network of more than 200 chargers.
The automaker will also spend money to increase awareness and education about EVs and will launch a “Green City” initiative in a yet-to-be-named California city. The Green City will pilot various sustainable mobility prorgams, such as a ZEV-based shuttle service, EV-based car-sharing program, or ZEV transit application.
Volkswagen Group of America COO Mark McNabb will serve as Electrify America’s CEO, according to a company statement.
Some EV charging companies have criticized the federal government’s decision to allow VW to oversee the $2 billion EV investment, arguing that it will give VW a competitive advantage in the electric vehicle charging market.
VW is expected to plead guilty on Feb. 24 to three felony counts as part of a plea agreement with the US Justice Department to resolve charges it installed software in US vehicles to allow them to cheat emissions tests.
In total, Volkswagen has agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the US to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers, and offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting vehicles, Reuters reports.