Electric Cars

VW's Electrify America gears up for Cycle 2 of its plan for California

The second phase of Electrify America's plan involves bigger emphasis on home charging and more fast charging stations in both urban and extra-urban locations.

Electrify America

Volkswagen's Electrify America is continuing to spend money like it's coming out of a fire hose. This time it's ready to invest $200 million more in charging infrastructure improvements in a number of California cities according to a statement from the group made on Wednesday.

Electrify America is working from a four-stage plan to dramatically improve the infrastructure for electric vehicles in California, which boasts the nation's highest number of EVs on its roads. Each cycle in its plan represents a 30-month series of investments.

Cycle 1 involved investments primarily in a half-dozen major metropolitan regions in California including Los Angeles/Long Beach, Fresno, San Diego/Carlsbad, Sacramento/Roseville/Arden/Arcade, San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward and San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara and began in 2017 with an expected completion date of June, 2019.

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Electrify America continues its plan to blanket the Golden State in electric chargers thanks to a $200 million investment.

Electrify America

Cycle 2 is set to begin officially in July of 2019 and end in December of 2021. Cycle 2 will emphasize the development of DC fast charging in more rural areas in the state as well as along highways to more remote communities and tourist destinations. Other larger population areas will get an influx of chargers too including the San Bernardino/Riverside area, Santa Cruz/Watsonville and Santa Rosa.

Another critical facet of Electrify America's plan is to emphasize overnight charging at home, by making it simpler and cheaper for people to install Level 2 chargers in their homes. It also aims to incentivize condominium and apartment complex owners to invest in more chargers in their facilities.

"In developing our plan, we conducted a robust outreach process to solicit input and met with leaders in California communities, government and business to inform our decisions," said Giovanni Palazzo, president and chief executive officer of Electrify America, in a statement. "Our goal to establish one of the largest, most technologically advanced and customer-friendly charging networks in the U.S. remains. We want to demystify what it means to own and drive electric vehicles by making chargers more visible, more convenient, and more a part of the everyday lives of Californians across the state."

Finally, Electrify America wants to encourage EV owners to plug their vehicles in at home during times of high power demand -- like during summer heatwaves -- to help support the grid. It plans to do this by offering financial rewards to customers in exchange for contributing power.

In case you forgot, the money for all this fancy infrastructure improvement comes from Volkswagen's $2 billion settlement with the EPA over its diesel emissions violations. California is slated to receive $800 million of the settlement, while the remaining $1.2 billion will go to the other 49 states.