WASHINGTON (Feb. 11, 2015) — Volkswagen of America Inc. (VWoA) plans to commit $10 million to support electric vehicle infrastructure by 2016 and wants the U.S. government to invest more in EVs as well.
Jörg Sommer, the auto maker's vice president, product marketing and strategy, presented VWoA's “holistic approach to e-mobility” surrounding the launch of its zero-tailpipe emissions 2015 e-Golf. During a presentation on Feb. 10 at the 2015 Electric Drive Congress in Washington, D.C., Mr. Sommer said VW believes continued legislative support is needed to reach the next level of electric vehicle (EV) adoption.
“Auto makers have effectively delivered electric vehicles that can satisfy the needs of most American drivers,” Mr. Sommer said. “In addition to the investment we and other companies and industries are making, we would like to see federal financing support for establishing fast charging networks in urban areas and interstate corridors.
“We'd like to see more state and federal organizations commit to cleaner fleets by purchasing EVs and PHEVs. This should be a U.S. Government priority, and federal purchasing guidelines should reflect that by giving fleet purchasers the flexibility they need.
“We need further congressional support with the mid-term review of the EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency) greenhouse gas regulation to extend the multiplier credits for plug-in vehicles beyond MY21.”
Mr. Sommer discussed the programs that VWoA has invested in, including the company's recently announced initiative with Chargepoint to support development of express charging corridors along heavily-traveled routes on the East and West Coasts. Designed to increase the number of fast charging locations, the initiative will help meet the large and growing demand for convenient, publicly available electric vehicle fast chargers, including direct current (DC) Fast charging locations, and support the adoption of electric vehicles in the U.S., the car maker said.
The goal of the Chargepoint program is to install nearly 100 DC Fast Chargers across both coasts — aiming to have charging sites no more than 50 miles apart.