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Volkswagen Pays for EV Charging Stations as Recompense for Cheating

Volkswagen violated the emissions standards of the United States by installing cheating devices in its vehicles. That scandal became news five years ago. Since then, Volkswagen has been busy paying a lot of cash toward satisfying various legal settlements associated with their cheating of the Clean Air Act. On Saturday, the Associated Press reported that Florida’s first portion of the settlement with Volkswagen will pay for twelve new charging stations.

A fierce-looking red Arteon sedan in a showroom setting.
2021 Arteon | Volkswagen

The beginning of settlement disbursements for Florida from the Volkswagen case

A news conference at a Florida Turnpike service plaza in Orlando served as the site for Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis to announce how $8.6 million of the Volkswagen settlement would be spent. Another $16.4 million is expected to be spent by the state in additional charging station creation and in an effort to strengthen infrastructure. This is the first disbursement of the total $166 million the state will receive from the Volkswagen settlement. According to the governor’s website, the full disbursement will eventually yield a 50 percent statewide increase in publicly available DC charging stations.

According to the Associated Press report, “funding will allow 27 charging stations to be installed along Florida’s major interstates, including the state’s two longest — Interstates 75 and 95.”

The front end of a white 2020 VW Atlas SUV
2020 VW Atlas SUV | VW

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The growing efforts to electrify

The state of Florida already has a growing fleet of electric vehicles. Governor DeSantis declared that the new charging stations would reduce emissions, better the air quality, and improve mobility for all those that drive electric vehicles.

Susan Glickman, Florida’s Director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, said at the ceremony,

“Since Florida is the most vulnerable state in America to sea level rise, transitioning to clean EVs will not only protect public health, create jobs, spur economic development, it will also help the state avoid the worst potential impacts of climate change.”

She continued,

“The investment in a statewide network of charging stations paves the way for Floridians to enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles.”

Florida State Representative, Mike LaRosa, Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, also had a few words at the event.

“In March of this year, Florida became the largest state in America to meet all National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and the addition of these electric vehicle charging stations encourages more EV commerce across our highways, producing less vehicle emissions.”

He also offered,

“I commend Governor DeSantis for providing Floridians and visitors to our state alike the ability to charge their environmentally-friendly vehicles at our turnpike facilities and for continuing to deliver the cleanest air in Florida history.”

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How the settlement works

As part of the settlement for violating the Clean Air Act, Volkswagen agreed to pay the United States for selling approximately 580,000 vehicles with emissions defeat devices between 2009 and 2015. According to the Governor’s website, Florida will receive the third most of all the states as a result of having 33,160 Volkswagen cars sold with the cheating devices. All the states in the case have up to ten years to spend their allotments.

It seems like the Volkswagen emissions scandal keeps making news. This time, however, it is for the good that will come out of it all. Though the manufacturer has been paying heavily through its wallet and reputation, at least now, their indiscretions will turn out with some good news for the country’s growing efforts to electrify. More charging stations make electric life easier.