For most of the young electric vehicle (“EV”) industry’s life, insufficient charging infrastructure has been a major hurdle to EV adoption. Increasingly restrictive emission standards are forcing automakers to electrify their vehicle lines, but drivers are unwilling to switch to EVs because of the limited number of public charging stations. Consequently, the current administrations are looking to invest millions of dollars into developing a reliable public EV charging network.
Louisiana will soon be the recipient of some of these funds, allowing it to install charging stations in more than a dozen universities, government agencies and electric utilities across the state. The Department of Environmental Quality awarded 26 grants worth more than $1.7 million to install 82 charging stations across the state. The money was sourced from Louisiana’s $19.8 million share of the gargantuan $4.3 billion fine Volkswagen paid the U.S. Justice Department after a federal criminal investigation found that the German automaker had lied on vehicle emission states.
A large percentage of Louisiana’s share of the Volkswagen settlement will go toward green energy and electrification, with an additional $12 million being used to replace 351 diesel-powered buses owned by 16 school boards with electric alternatives. Furthermore, $7.3 million has been awarded to the state Department of Transportation and Development as well as the Department of Agriculture to replace their old diesel vehicles and equipment. Since low and zero-emission vehicles tend to cost an arm and leg, a majority of drivers simply cannot afford to go electric, especially without generous subsidies and incentives.
Fleets, however, are a different story altogether as the organizations behind them, whether it’s a delivery company or a university, usually have enough funds to purchase a fleet of electrified vehicles and install charging infrastructure. Thanks to the new drivetrains, Louisiana will be looking at reduced greenhouse gas emissions including carbon, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds. These new grants, sourced from Volkswagen’s settlement money, are meant to help entities that are looking to buy electric vehicles or have already purchased electric vehicles by funding the development of three levels of EV charging stations.
Organizations that receive the grants will be able to install level 2 light-duty EV charging stations that use 240-cycle electricity to charge EV batteries over several hours, a DC (direct current) version that can fast-charge an EV battery in just 30 minutes, or a paratransit charging station that can charge several vehicles simultaneously. Some of the schools that will receive these chargers include Southeastern Louisiana University, Southern University, LSU, Xavier University, Sowela Technical Community College and Nicholls State.
The synergy between favorable governmental action and the involvement of for-profit companies such as Ideanomics Inc. (NASDAQ: IDEX) is likely to speed up EV adoption at a higher rate than would have been possible without those different efforts pushing in the same direction.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Ideanomics Inc. (NASDAQ: IDEX) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/IDEX
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