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VW starts building its massive EV charging network under ‘Electrify America’

The $2 billion that Volkswagen has to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure in the US as part of its court settlement for the DieselGate scandal is starting to turn into real charging stations.

They opened the first fast-charging stations in the Washington, D.C. area.

The stations are being deployed by ‘Electrify America’, a VW subsidiary created as part of the German automaker’s settlements with California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its use of emission test cheating devices in its diesel vehicles.

We recently reported on the plan for California, which includes installing ultra-fast 320 kW chargers, and the plan for the whole country, which includes a ‘nationwide 150 kW+ fast charging network’.

The plan for California is still not going through as other automakers and the state government are going over the details on how VW should spend the money for the EV charging network.

But they are rolling out their national plan starting with eight fast-charging stations across Maryland and Virginia.

As part of the first phase of the rollout, they say that “50 new and upgraded 50kW dual-standard fast chargers will be installed at premier retail properties in 10 major metro markets across the country, including Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Portland (Oregon), Seattle and Washington D.C.” by September.

The new stations, with hardware supplied by BTC Power and ABB, have been in operation for the past 2 weeks under EVgo’s network, but it will also “soon” be available under Electrify America’s own open-standard network, according to the company. The system is reportedly still under development.

Mark McNabb, chief executive officer of Electrify America, commented on the announcement:

“In order to satisfy the needs of electric vehicle owners and further increase the adoption of EVs, there is a great demand for charging stations that are fast, reliable and convenient. These stations in Maryland and Virginia are the first Electrify America investments that will be focused on meeting those consumer needs by providing advanced technology that is accessible and easy to use.”

As we previously reported, we are more excited about the new high-speed chargers that should follow shortly after, but the new 50 kW stations represent a good start.

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