The American electric vehicle market is about to receive the single largest coordinated investment it has ever seen. Electrify America, a new company created to manage funds provided as part of Volkswagen’s Court-approved settlement involving 2.0L TDI diesel vehicles, will invest $2 billion over ten years - $800 million in California and $1.2 billion in the rest of the country. For comparison, this is roughly 10X the size of the stimulus-funded USDOE “EV Project” and the fast-charging network it will create will be more robust than Tesla’s Supercharger network.
While it has only recently begun to attract media attention, this investment will have an enormous impact on accelerating electric vehicle adoption and use in the United States.
These investments will be proposed in 30-month cycles, and Electrify America recently released its plan for the first 30 months. Many details have not been finalized yet. In fact, the California portion of the investment plan, which is separate from the national plan and must be approved by the California Air Resources Board, is not yet finalized.
However, a few things are already clear:
The Pacific Northwest is a leader. Electrify America will invest in 49 states, primarily for fast charging on interstate highways. However, 11 metro areas will receive focused investment for community charging. Portland and Seattle are both included on the list of 11 metro areas, which was compiled based on both electric vehicle demand and the level of engagement by local governments and utilities. Clearly, our coherent regional NW strategy put us in a strong competitive position. Each metro area could see an average of $3-5 million and 20-30+ charging installations in the next 30 months.
Fast charging is expanding and getting faster. Electrify America’s first 30 month nationwide investment of $300 million will dedicate $250 million to fast charging on interstate highways. Electrify America intends to develop approximately 240 sites in the first 30 months, with multiple dual-standard fast chargers at each site. These chargers will also be much faster: while current fast chargers operate at a maximum of 50 kW, Electrify America intends to focus on stations that operate at up to 150 kW; some installations will go up to 320 kW.
Investments are coming fast. The Electrify America team has been moving at breakneck speed given the scope of their mandate. The team is hiring dozens of additional staff at its Herndon headquarters and across the country, moving with deliberate speed. They have set an ambitious timeline that aims to have some charging sites operational by the third quarter of 2017.
If you work in this industry, you need to learn more. Clearly, this is a transformative investment that will impact many aspects of transportation electrification. Luckily, you have an opportunity to learn more directly from Electrify America staff in just a few weeks. Electrify America will provide a keynote address at our upcoming EV Roadmap 10 Conference, June 20-21 in Portland. Key Electrify America staff will also be participating in an interactive panel discussion at the conference. To review the full program, learn more, or register, visit
Pacific Northwest ZEV Investment Proposal