California says Volkswagen clean car spending plan has drawbacks

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California regulators stated Volkswagen‘s budget on clean vehicle facilities had drawbacks and that it did not have details on how it would help disadvantaged communities as well as promote hydrogen fuel cell innovation.

The remarks in a Wednesday letter from the California Air Resources Board to the automaker’s Electrify America come after criticism that the German car manufacturer’s strategy, part of a deal to compensate diesel emissions cheating, could offer it a competitive advantage on other automobile and charging station makers and neglect poorer communities where the state wishes to promote clean vehicles.

The German automaker consented to spend $800 million in California, part of a total of $2 billion nationally, after it was caught secretly setting up software in diesel automobiles that allowed them to emit excess contamination.

The Air Resources Board informed VW’s Electrify America that its plan for the very first $200 million, 30-month tranche of the California budget had drawbacks.

It asked the automaker to describe how it would fulfill a requirement to spend funds in disadvantaged communities, including setting up electric vehicle charging stations.

“CARB advises that Electrify America make every effort to obtain investment of 35 percent of the very first 30-month investment cycle in these communities,” stated the letter, which was observed by Reuters.

It likewise asked Volkswagen to explain possible plans for hydrogen automobiles over the 10-year investment duration, since California’s zero-emission vehicle plan consists of battery-electric and fuel-cell automobiles.

Electrify America stated it was dedicated to investing $2 billion in line with court-approved agreements with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California. It stated it was evaluating the state board’s letter.

Charging station maker ChargePoint Inc applauded regulators for asking VW to focus on disadvantaged communities and guaranteeing that automaker’s efforts were complementary to other investments.

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