Maryland Announces Draft Plan for VW Settlement Money

Maryland VW Settlement

Draft Plan Includes Approximately $11.3 Million for Maryland EV Charging Infrastructure

Update: Listening Session Scheduled

A listening session has been scheduled for the VW Settlement Mitigation Plan for August 20, 2018 from 10:00 AM to noon at the Maryland Department of the Environment, at 1800 Washington Blvd, Baltimore. Full details here.

Maryland officials released a draft mitigation plan for spending $75.7 million from a settlement reached with Volkswagen over an emissions testing “defeat devices” case that proposes to fund measures to help improve air quality including replacing older diesel engine powered equipment and installing electric vehicle charging stations.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) along with the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) developed the Draft Plan that must be submitted to the Trustee overseeing the mitigation funds once the 30 day public comment period is over and Maryland finalizes the Draft Plan.

The Settlement Agreement limits the amount of funds that can be used for Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure investment to 15% of the total funds allocated to the state. Maryland intends to utilize the allowed maximum of 15% of Volkswagen Trust funds, or about $11.3 million, for the deployment of EV charging infrastructure.

The Draft Plan notes that MEA has awarded over $3.3 million toward installing 77 DC Fast Chargers at 46 locations, with matching grants that has leveraged more than $4.5 million in private funding of charging infrastructure in recent years.

Under this Draft Plan, Maryland proposes to use these electric vehicle infrastructure funds for workplace charging, State office buildings (including Department of Transportation facilities), and the recently federally designated alternative fuel corridors. Selecting strategic installation sites will build on the state’s current efforts by ensuring adequate access to charging infrastructure for electric vehicle owners and operators. Having adequate access will facilitate the adoption of ZEVs in the State fleet and will also incentivize employee and public ZEV purchases.

It is important to note, that under a separate part of the Volkswagen settlement (Appendix C), Volkswagen must invest $2 billion nationwide in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Volkswagen has been working with ZEV MOU states such as California and Maryland on possible projects that would fulfill this requirement. Maryland will wait until Volkswagen announces these planned projects (some of which may be in Maryland) before using the electric vehicle infrastructure funds outlined in this section. This will allow Maryland to leverage and maximize its investment throughout the state. It will also allow Maryland to maximize investment in the latest technology since newer charging systems will soon be available. These newer charging systems (i.e. Level 3 fast chargers) decrease charging times.

Maryland’s Draft Mitigation Plan is available at this link.

MDE will be accepting comments on the proposed Mitigation Plan until close of business on August 31, 2018.

There will also be two public listening sessions to provide information on Maryland’s Mitigation Plan and to field questions from citizens. Dates, times and locations of the listening sessions will be announced by Maryland officials.

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