Regulation, Finance - February 5, 2020
New Hampshire to use VW settlement to fund EV charger overhaul
New Hampshire will be installing electric vehicle fast chargers along six major routes in the state, funded by a $4.6 million settlement from Volkswagen Group following a diesel emissions lawsuit.
In November, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services put out a Request for Proposals for companies to put charging stations along Interstate 93 from Manchester to the Vermont border; I-89 from Concord to Vermont; Route 101 from I-93 to Keene; Route 16 from Portsmouth to Jackson; Route 2 in northern New Hampshire; and along an east-west route from I-93 to the Seacoast, which could be either Route 4 or Route 101, the Union Leader reported. Five-year contracts for those selected will begin in April.
The funding comes from the Volkswagen Group lawsuit that required a payout to states after it was caught cheating on federal emissions tests with its diesel vehicles.
“New Hampshire has recognized that we want to be a welcoming place to the people that own electric vehicles and as such we need to make sure that those folks are able to come here and charge and move around the state,” Rebecca Ohler, administrator of the technical services bureau in the air resources division of the NHDES, told the publication. “But it’s also a matter of supporting New Hampshire residents who want to purchase electric vehicles and either don’t have the ability to install home charging ... or that travel longer distances and can’t cover the territory they need to cover just from charging at home.”
The state has chosen to use another $15.5 million of the funds to replace state and municipal vehicles and equipment with lower-emission vehicles.
This project falls under the state’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, which calls for spending the VW settlement funds on “projects that will result in road public benefits, serve the state’s economically challenged communities and make the state a welcoming environment for all ages, abilities and backgrounds to live, work, and play.”
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