Virginia to spend $14 million from Volkswagen settlement on electric car charging network


Virginia has picked a Los Angeles firm to build and operate a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the commonwealth, with the state planning to use $14 million from a legal settlement with Volkswagen to cover its share of the public-private partnership.
EVgo will share the cost of building hundreds of charging stations and be allowed to keep all of the revenue generated by them under the deal, which Gov. Ralph Northam announced at a news conference Thursday.
EVgo — which owns more than 1,000 stations in 34 states, including Virginia — was one of six firms to bid on the project.
Amid a diesel emissions cheating scandal, Volkswagen entered into a $15 billion settlement in 2016 to resolve claims that it violated the Clean Air Act by selling vehicles rigged to pass pollution tests. Most of that money was for compensating consumers, but a portion was made available to states to mitigate environmental damage.
Virginia’s slice of that settlement is $93.6 million. Under the terms of the settlement, states may use up to 15 percent of the funds for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which in Virginia’s case, comes to about $14 million.
The state will use the remainder of the $93.6 million to improve air quality, address climate change and help the Chesapeake Bay under a plan filed Thursday with the trustee overseeing the Volkswagen settlement.At Northam’s news conference on Capitol Square, EVgo CEO Cathy Zoi said the company will build “hundreds” of chargers. She declined to be more specific in terms of number or locations, but said the state’s most heavily trafficked areas would get priority.
EVgo said it will build “DC fast-charging stations” that in 20 minutes can charge a vehicle enough to drive 60 to 80 miles. Two Virginia-based contractors will help develop the charging network over the next three years. EVgo also will establish a service center in Richmond to provide maintenance for the charging stations statewide.

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