Charge Up Midwest, a regional partnership aiming to accelerate the sales and use of EV’s in the Midwest, recently applauded Volkswagen for the inclusion of Chicago in it’s national Zero Emission Vehicle infrastructure investment plan. But the Midwest partnership had hoped that other cities in the Midwest had been included as well.
The EPA approved plan includes an initial $300 million of investments in charging infrastructure and education in key cities and on major highway corridors throughout the country. Through Electrify America, a subsidiary created to oversee this this Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, VW will be spending an additional $900 million over the next 10 years in 30-month cycles.
Chicago is certainly a great location for VW investment funds due to its high density population and large number of metro area employers. One Charge Up Midwest campaign partner based in Chicago, the Environmental Law & Policy Center, noted that Chicago has already taken many steps towards expanding opportunities for clean transportation. They believe the VW funds will accelerate their existing programs and create lower costs, cleaner air, and less dependence on foreign oil.
We recently wrote about Charge Up Midwest’s proposal to Volkswagen, which provided a holistic view of the region and focused on connecting major cities like Minneapolis, Detroit, Columbus, and Chicago with charging infrastructure. Although these other cities were not included in VW’s initial plan, VW did target investments on major highway corridors in the region, including I-94 and I-75 in Michigan. Charge Up Midwest intends to continue working with VW on future rounds of its ZEV infrastructure funding, as well as work with utilities, state policymakers, automakers, and others to find other ways to increase investments in EV infrastructure and education in the region.