Joerg Sommer, VP of product marketing and strategy at VW of America, is not too happy with the government’s current investment in electric vehicles. Speaking at the Electric Drive Transportation Association’s annual conference, Sommer called on the U.S. to invest more in the country’s EV infrastructure in order to spur sales of electric vehicles.
Volkswagen currently offers just one EV in the U.S.: the e-Golf, which starts at an astonishing $35,445. The automaker also offers the Jetta Hybrid, with a sticker price of $27,645, though — to be fair — conventional hybrids are not EVs.
Even so, Sommer was quick to put his money where his mouth is, announcing that VW would invest a further $10 million in EV charging and infrastructure by 2016. The company has partnered with BMW and ChargePoint to install 100 fast-charging stations along the East and West coasts of the country by the end of the year.
To go along with VW’s investment and the billions of dollars spent collectively by manufactures in order to develop, build and bring to market new EVs and EV charging stations, Sommer wants the government to spend more cash on EV fast charging stations, extend the tailpipe emissions credit multiplier for plug-in vehicles (which will shrink from model year 2017 to 2021), and for state and federal officials to purchase more EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
But with only 300,000 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles sold in the U.S. since 2011, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, it could take a long time for automakers like VW to see a healthy return on their EV investments.