The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Settlement Is a Chance for EV Charging Station Growth

By January 3, 2020 Blog
volkswagen steering wheel

A close-up of a contemporary Volkswagen steering wheel, with a driver’s hands gripping either side of it.

The Volkswagen emissions scandal was one of the biggest in recent years, however, the scandal is providing a modest boon to EV charging station growth in the United States. If your business or agency is receiving any money as a part of the settlement, this could be a chance for you to begin or expand your own EV charging station network.

What Was the Scandal?

Volkswagen secretly programmed the onboard computers on roughly 11 million of its vehicles around the world to only engage their emissions controls during emissions tests, and not during normal driving. This offered better performance, but at the cost of producing vastly more NO and NO2 pollution—chemicals that cause smog, acid rain, and other problems.

Volkswagen’s duplicity was eventually discovered, and, after years of negotiations, the company agreed to pay over $15 billion to settle the matter in the United States. Much of this money was intended to rectify the environmental and health damage caused by Volkswagen’s wrongdoing.

New EV Charging Station Growth Is Critical

We are at a moment of sustained rapid growth in the US electric vehicle market. This is a historic moment for the industry: in the early years of the 2020s, EVs will finally become mainstream after decades of promise. EVs are becoming less expensive and more reliable, and are able to drive farther on a single charge, making them much more appealing to consumers. As a result, EVs on the roads in the US have increased from the low ten thousands at the beginning of the decade to nearly a million today.

EV charging station growth has also been explosive in the past decade. However, the growth of this vital infrastructure has not kept pace with the growth in demand for it. All across the country, EV charging station networks need to be expanded dramatically, particularly outside the handful of cities where most EV growth thus far has been concentrated: San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Portland.

At present, there isn’t yet enough EV charging infrastructure for EVs to go mainstream. This means that business owners, government agencies, landlords, and anyone else who operates a parking lot or garage has a chance to increase their parking lot ROI by helping to meet the soaring national demand for EV charging station growth.

How the VW Scandal Can Help

The billions of dollars from the VW scandal settlement have created a rare opportunity for a lucky few—namely, the recipients of this settlement money—to make EV charging infrastructure investments with substantially less financial risk.

Any such efforts toward EV charging station growth could have positive effects if your new charging stations are also made available to employees. EV Connect offers custom EV solutions that can help you incentivize your employees (or customers, tenants, or clients) to take the plunge and purchase an electric vehicle themselves.

Electrify Your Fleet

If your business, agency, or organization has eligible Volkswagens in its fleet, you’ll be given the opportunity to participate in a buyback. Fleet managers should have serious discussions with leadership about the possibility of turning in some or all of your affected Volkswagens and using this buyback money for EV charging station growth and fleet electrification.

Together with the numerous incentives available for installing new EV charging station networks, the VW settlement money could go a long way toward buying new electric vehicles and setting up the infrastructure to power them.

Government agencies in particular, and any other organization that is committed to ambitious EV adoption rates or carbon dioxide emissions reduction, may find this opportunity to be especially appealing.

If you don’t want to deal with the administrative burden, or need outside capabilities, EV Connect’s fleet solutions may be just what you’re looking for.

Attract Affluent Customers to Your Retail or Hospitality Business

If you are in retail or hospitality and are receiving any of the VW settlement money, this is a chance for you to invest in EV charging station growth and provide EV charging facilities to your guests and customers. EV motorists are more affluent on average, and are the type of people who are inclined to seek out upgrades and premium amenities.

Take a few minutes to learn more about our EV charging solutions for hospitality and for retail. We also provide solutions for most other industries.

Municipalities: Provide EV Charging Station Networks for Your Community

Two electric cars are plugged into a charging station alongside a road, with trees, green fields, and sunshine in the background.Nearly $3 billion of the settlement went directly to the states. Presently though, only a handful of states, such as Washington and Hawaii, are spending their share of the settlement money the way it was intended: electrification of the transportation sector. Many states are falling short—some badly so—in leveraging this opportunity to take a step toward electrification and EV charging station growth.

Many local governments are also receiving a chunk of their state’s settlement money. In these situations, no buybacks are required as this is a separate part of the settlement. If you are working for a local government and are in a position to receive any of this money, this could be the chance you’ve been waiting for to launch or expand municipal EV charging station networks.

Like parking meters, these can be a revenue source, and EV Connect provides solutions to manage your EV charging network, including any and all aspects of the installation, operation, and payment processing of these units.

Let EV Connect Facilitate Your EV Charging Station Growth

If you are receiving any of the Volkswagen settlement money, installing EV chargers is just about the most on-point thing you could possibly do with the funding. The timing could not be better: The 2020s are going to see continued massive growth in EV market share, and at the moment, the charging infrastructure is the biggest bottleneck.

By adding new charging infrastructure capacity, more people are going to purchase EVs of their own, and the resulting growth cycle will be self-reinforcing: EV charging station growth will fuel growth in EV purchase rates, which in turn will fuel demand for new EV charging stations. If you are in an area where electric vehicles haven’t taken hold yet—and this is true across most of the country—then you could be among the first to bring EV charging station networks to your community. If you’re in a hotbed for EVs, like San Francisco, Seattle, or LA, then you are already assured of strong existing demand.

Either way, now is the time to act. EV Connect can make it hassle-free. Take advantage of our extensive solutions, experience, our driver app, and our large network of existing infrastructure: Contact us today to discuss your needs!

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