Volkswagen Makes a Big Move to Expand the EV Charging Network
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Two recent announcements signal that Volkswagen Group is going all-in on the electric vehicle (EV) future.
Electrify America announced it was doubling its goal to expand charging stations in the United States and Canada thanks to Volkswagen increasing its funding commitment.
Volkswagen announced its “New Auto” strategy to consolidate future EVs under one platform. The automaker said it expects most of its portfolio to be EVs by the end of the decade.
Here’s more information about Electrify America’s new goals and Volkswagen’s EV strategy. Volkswagen is making big commitments to EVs.
Electrify America expands 2025 goals
Electrify America’s Boost Plan sets new goals of 1,800 fast-charging stations with 10,000 individual connections by the end of 2025 in North America. 1,700 of these stations will be available in the United States and the rest will be in Canada. Electrify America is on target to have 800 stations with 3,500 individual connections running in the United States in 2021, and 68 stations in Canada.
Electrify America has installed approximately four charging stations per week since launching its first station in May 2018. Green Car Reports noted that Electrify America completed its first cross-country route in the U.S. last year and is nearing completion on its first Canadian route.
On top of adding stations to its current routes, Electrify America will increase urban charging stations and open a new route through the upper Midwest. The expansion will add charging stations in Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont, bringing accessible charging to 49 states and the District of Columbia.
A commitment of additional funding from Volkswagen Group, beyond the $2 billion agreed to as part of its diesel settlement, fuels the Boost Plan. Electrify America says the expansion will help meet the growing demand for EVs from consumers and from automakers who are increasing their EV offerings.
Volkswagen aims for most of its vehicles to be electric
Volkswagen also announced its ambitious New Auto plan with goals stretched out to 2030. This includes a portfolio made up of mostly EVs, built on a single new platform beginning in 2026.
Volkswagen plans to build all of its vehicles, both electric and internal combustion engine (ICE), on the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) beginning in 2026 as a way to cut production costs. Green Car Reports considers this a substantial challenge as VW currently operates three platforms for its ICE vehicles and two for EVs.
The company will share the SSP with other manufacturers, as it currently does with the MEB that Ford will use for its Euro EV. The SSP will be replacing VW’s new PPE EV platform which hasn’t been introduced yet. The Audi A6 and Porsche Macan will debut as the first vehicles on the PPE platform.
Volkswagen’s new tech division, CARIAD, represents another key pillar of the automaker’s future. VW said CARIAD will launch a software platform in 2025 to enable more over-the-air upgrades. CARIAD is also working on improving automated driving features.
Where does VW stand on autonomous vehicles?
New Auto also includes Volkswagen’s strategy to move into the autonomous arena. VW announced that it’ll roll out an autonomous bus service in Europe in 2025 and the U.S. shortly after. By 2030, VW intends to operate fleets for bus service throughout Europe, North America, and China.
Volkswagen is already testing self-driving buses in Munich and plans to begin tests in other German cities, the U.S., and China soon.
Volkswagen believes a single platform dedicated to mobility can be used for vehicle rentals, subscription services, and ride-hailing services, which would improve efficiency and profitability.
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