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July 13, 2020
Nearly 80 percent of VW Funds Remain Two Years After the First Awards
Source: EV Hub
The Volkswagen Settlement remains one of the largest dedicated sources of public funding for transportation electrification investment and it is somewhat insulated from both decisions in Washington and the effects of COVID-19. Two years after the first VW Settlement award was made, only 20 percent of the almost $3 billion in settlement money allocated to the 50 states and Washington D.C. has been spent.

As of June 15, 2020, $567 million out of the $2.8 billion total in state settlement funds had been awarded to specific projects. Half of this funding is going to support EVs and EV charging, spanning at least 35 states and amounting to $282 million in awarded funding. The first award tracked by the EV Hub, $14 million for passenger vehicle charging stations in Virginia, was made during the second quarter of 2018. Since then, at least 41 other states have made awards.

The settlement has been a boon for the electric transit bus market which has been the beneficiary of 24 percent of the total awards made so far, the highest of any single technology including conventional vehicles. Funding for other types of vehicles is on the rise and school bus awards grew from only $3.4 million at the end of June 2019 to $47.3 million as of June 15, 2020 with school districts in 15 states now moving to electrify fleets.

Although 48 state mitigation plans have been finalized, governors and agencies in states like New Jersey and Colorado have increased funding supporting EVs by issuing executive orders and implementing transportation electrification plans after the first awards were made. Other states have missed opportunities and Texas, the state receiving the second-largest allocation worth $209 million, has yet to make a single award for EVs. 

Nationwide, up to 80 percent of settlement funds have not yet been awarded and all states still have the opportunity to make transformational investments in EVs. Only 20 percent of awards have been made so far to deploy EV charging out of the total $316 million committed in state plans. In total, there is at least $541 million remaining for dedicated transportation electrification projects and EVs are eligible for an additional $770 million from projects where conventional and other alternative fuel vehicle purchases are also allowed.

The VW Settlement remains one of the most important sources for funding for EV charging as well as electric trucks and buses. The impacts of COVID-19 have renewed the urgency around the electrification of the medium- and heavy-duty sectors and have brought increased attention to the legacy of injustice experienced by communities of color who suffer disproportionately from both the virus and emissions associated with these vehicles. Black and Brown people have been forced into neighborhoods with the dirtiest air through decades of discriminatory housing policies and systemic inequality that places them at a specific disadvantage in terms of both access to transportation and public health. These combined impacts make electrification of both port and freight vehicles as well as cleaner school and transit buses priority actions to address the disproportionate burden of pollution in these communities. With millions of award funds remaining to be allocated, states have an opportunity to maximize the one-time resources provided by the VW settlement to electrify these key segments of the transportation sector.
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EV Hub News

West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative Final Study Released

The West Coast Clean Transit Initiative, a network of nine electric utilities and two public agencies representing more than two dozen municipal utilities, published their final report on June 17, 2020. The report outlines key findings from a study assessing the prospect of implementing EV charging fro freight trucks along the entire stretch of Interstate 5. The study recommends a phased approach for electrifying the I-5 corridor. At least 27 stations spaced out at 50-mile intervals would be included in phase one of the roll out which will take place through 2025. Read More Here

U.S. DOT Awards $130 Million for Electric Transit Buses in 40 States

The United States Department of Transportation awarded $130 million for electric transit buses and supporting infrastructure through the Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant program on June 2, 2020. The awards were spread over 40 states and Washington D.C. and will help transit agencies accelerate the electrification of their fleets. The 2020 funding cycle is the largest yet for the Low-No program, which has contributed almost $480 million to transit bus electrification since 2015. Read More Here

Washington Awards $12 million from the VW Settlement for 40 Electric School Buses

On April 29, 2020, the Washington State Department of Ecology awarded $12 million from the state’s federal VW Settlement allocation to fund 40 electric school buses across the state. This award makes Washington the 14th state to commit settlement funds to school bus electrification. In addition to school buses, Washington has awarded more than $13 million for electric transit buses. It is also the first and only state to invest in hybrid electric ferry boats, awarding a total of $35 million to replace three of the state’s largest vessels in September 2019. Read More Here

Catch Up On EV Hub News Alerts
Job Openings
Below are current job openings in transportation electrification: If you have a job posting you would like to share with EV Hub users, please send them to us in an email at info@atlasevhub.com.
Upcoming Events

The Climate Group and WBCSD will be hosting a webinar on ‘Corporate Fleet Electrification 101’, on July 14 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EDT. As we prepare to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis and adapt to the ‘new normal’, calls for a ‘green recovery’ are getting increasing support across the political spectrum, from businesses, civil society organizations and the public. Read more here.

July 14th @ 10am EST

The COVID-19 pandemic has been hugely disruptive, and will likely have lingering impacts on how we get around in the future. This webinar will provide insights from the analysis of recently collected data from new research at UC Davis, highlighting a large data collection effort with 10,000 survey respondents, reporting on how COVID-19 affected their travel behaviors, work activities and household organization. Read more here.

July 15th @ 4pm EST

This Town Hall will explore the crucial link between racial equity, economic equity, and transit equity. Panelists will discuss the history of inequitable transportation decisions across the United States, the impact that public transit has on access to economic opportunity, and how policymakers and transit agencies can improve access and affordability for transit-dependent riders now and after COVID-19. Read more here.

July 16th @ 2pm EST

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