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: Volkswagen Electrify America Program Releases Public Plan

Volkswagen Electrify America Program Releases Public Plan

14 Apr

On April 9, 2017, Volkswagen Group released a public version of the first cycle of its 10-year Electrify America program, as part of a $1.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for violation of the US Clean Air Act after a “defeat device” scandal that involved 500,000 Volkswagen Group diesel vehicles sold into the US between 2009 – 2015.

These vehicles employed the company’s “turbo direct injection” TDI diesel engines, that exceeded emissions standards required by the U.S. Clean Air Act, under real-world driving conditions. Deceptive software tuning of emission controls was employed when the vehicle was undergoing smog testing in a stationary position. However, once the vehicle began moving, the engine was retuned for performance on the fly. Resulting real-world driving emissions, particularly Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), significantly exceeded standard emissions required by the US Clean Air Act, in some cases more than 30 times higher.

Volkswagen of America claimed in its advertising documents at the time that it did not need additional devices on its TDI vehicles to suppress NOx and other harmful emissions, as its catalytic converter and filtration system were of superior design to its competitors, who were employing more expensive liquid additives (e.g. BMW AdBlue systems), in addition to their catalytic converter systems, to meet both US and European emission standards.

The Volkswagen Group advertising claims were proven to be false by a University of West Virginia research study, that uncovered the “defeat device” being used to fool the federal smog testing system nationwide. The U.S. FTC, Department of Justice, and EPA sued Volkswagen Group through separate billion-dollar lawsuits, to recover damages to U.S. consumers and residents because of both fraud and environmental impact.

A PDF copy of the National ZEV Investment Plan can be found at the U.S. EPA Enforcement webpage:

https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/epa-approved-national-zev-investment-plan-public-version

A downloadable copy of the PDF file is available through this link:

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-04/documents/nationalzevinvestmentplan.pdf

The 10-year plan will be implemented in four 30-month cycles over ten years, with each cycle funded at $300 million, for a total of $1.2 billion. Implementation of the first cycle is scheduled between Q1 2017 to Q2 2019.

It will target high-density metropolitan population areas with SAE AC Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and DC Fast Charge station installations.

240 DC Fast Charge station sites will also be installed by the end of Cycle 1 on national highway corridors across the country, including interstate and regional highways passing through Nevada.

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy has submitted proposals to the U.S. EPA that comply with the National ZEV Investment Plan, in order to use the Electrify America program funding to build out its Nevada Electric Highway program by 2020, along highway corridors throughout the state.

The National ZEV Investment program also sets aside funding for educational outreach efforts about the benefits of zero-emission vehicles, targeted at consumers and fleet managers.

NEVA Blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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