Volkswagen and Siemens announced they have raised $450 million for Electrify America to accelerate the rollout of charging infrastructure in the US.
If you’re being “punished” by the US government for forcing you to invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, you might as well make the most of it, double down on it and make it an asset.
That’s basically what’s happening with Electrify America.
The company was founded as part of VW’s $2 billion deal with the US government to offset the Dieselgate scandal. VW had to create an entity to invest the money in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and other programs to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.
For anyone who fully understood that electric vehicles were the future anyway, this turned out to be a good deal for VW, as the penalty was, in effect, being forced to invest in a company that will likely be the future of powering transportation.
Now six years after the deal and four years after Electrify America opened its first station, the company has installed 800 total stations with 3,500 ultra-fast chargers and continues to grow.
Today, Electrify America announced that it is now taking on additional funding for the first time:
Electrify America LLC, the largest open ultra-fast electric vehicle charging network in North America, today announced that it has raised $450 million in equity investment in the company at a post-money valuation of $2.45 billion.
VW invested in the round, but the company has taken outside money for the first time, with Siemens investing an undisclosed amount in the “low triple-digit million dollars”.
Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board Member for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, commented on the investment:
With our recent investment, we confirm our commitment to continue to grow in the charging and energy sector. We support eMobility in North America to more than double Electrify America’s charging infrastructure to 1,800 locations and 10,000 ultra-fast chargers by 2026. Siemens’ investment validates our electrification strategy to offer charging and energy solutions across the country, and the company is a key strategic technology and electrification partner for us along this path.
VW says the investment will result in “Electrify America’s accelerated growth plans through technological advancements in charging and energy solutions for public, residential and commercial offerings.”
This seems to be the natural evolution of Electrify America into its own full-fledged company and not just something VW was forced into because of the Dieselgate scandal.
I’m glad it’s happening, because $450 million is an insignificant amount to pump into North American’s EV charging infrastructure, which urgently needs to be expanded to support the growing number of electric vehicles being shipped.
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