WASHINGTON — Volkswagen is adding more juice to the electric-vehicle charging infrastructure in the U.S. by pledging to invest $10 million in its development by 2016. The company will also invest to support the installation of charging stations in certain Volkswagen dealership locations.
The locations have not been named yet.
VW's latest e-mobility boost coincides with the launch of the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf electric vehicle, which is on sale now at Volkswagen dealerships.
The German automaker made the $10-million pledge on Tuesday at the 2015 Electric Drive Congress. Volkswagen also called on the federal government to fund fast-charging networks in urban areas and interstate corridors.
In January, VW, BMW of North America and ChargePoint announced a new program that will see the installation of nearly 100 DC fast chargers across both coasts in the U.S. The goal of that program is to have charging sites no more than 50 miles apart.
Volkswagen's latest electric-vehicle charging announcement comes as automakers and utilities are racing to set up the stations to speed the adoption of electric vehicles here.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company recently asked California regulators for permission to build an estimated 25,000 EV chargers at sites in northern and central California.
PG&E said if the request is approved, it would be the largest deployment of EV charging stations in the country.
There are 9,048 electric stations in the U.S. with 22,607 charging outlets, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Edmunds says: The EV charging infrastructure in the U.S. is still in its infancy, but car shoppers should be aware that momentum is growing to make charging stations as ubiquitous as gas stations.