This week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that the state awarded $3.7 million from Maryland’s settlement with Volkswagen for diesel-gate to install EV charging stations. The money is going to 37 sites for public and workplace charging.
In concrete terms, Maryland is funding 36 new public fast chargers at 13 locations and 145 workplace charging ports at 24 business locations. According to the governor’s office, the public fast chargers are five to 10 times quicker than the workplace charger ports.
“Zero-emission vehicles and clean transportation infrastructure are key drivers to achieving Maryland’s ambitious climate plans, which are among the most detailed and aggressive in the nation,” said Secretary Ben Grumbles of the Maryland Department of the Environment. “Our smart investments in charging infrastructure will accelerate the electric vehicle revolution and grow sustainable public-private partnerships throughout the state.”
After the diesel-emission fraud, Maryland received $75.7 million as part of a $2.7 billion national settlement with VW. A total of $11.3 million of Maryland’s money was directed toward deploying zero-emission vehicle infrastructure to facilitate the state’s adoption of battery, electric, and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The Maryland Department of General Services (DGS) has taken the lead among state agencies in installing EV chargers and arranging for other agencies on the state-owned property to install them. In addition, several workplace grants, as mentioned above, were facilitated by DGS.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, there are currently more than 36,000 electric vehicles in the state. Maryland will begin the second round of VW funding by the end of the year.
The settlement with Maryland and other states, e.g. California, goes back to Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal in the US. As part of the court order, Volkswagen agreed at the time to invest two billion dollars in charging infrastructure and the promotion of zero-emission vehicles in the US in lieu of further fines. The founding of Electrify America, a fast-charging subsidiary, followed in 2017. The network now has around 630 charging parks with 2,700 charging points and charging capacities of up to 350 kW. The expansion to 800 charging parks with 3,500 charging points is planned by the end of the year. This was announced by Electrify America CEO Giovanni Palazzo at Volkswagen’s ‘Power Day‘ in March. The company has recently been seen to seek additional investors to expand the network further.
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