Electrify America Extends Help to Disadvantaged Communities With New Car-Sharing Initiative

The VW-funded program has deployed 20 e-Golf hatchbacks for multi-family residential properties to share in Sacramento, California.

Electrify America is the program created to invest $2 billion of Volkswagen diesel-emission penalties in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure over 10 years. To date, the program has primarily focused on installing public charging stations, but now it’s also deploying shared electric cars in Sacramento, California, for disadvantaged communities in the area.

In concert with Envoy Technologies, Electrify America said in a press release that it has deployed more than 20 Volkswagen e-Golf hatchbacks throughout the California capital city. The cars are stationed at 10 multi-family residential properties, each equipped with its own Level 2 charging station. Drivers can access cars through a dedicated “Envoy There” app.

The Envoy-operated car-sharing service is part of Electrify America’s $44 million investment in an electric transportation initiative in Sacramento called “Sac-to-Zero.” In addition to car sharing, the program calls for zero-emission bus and shuttle services, plus an expansion of the city’s electric-car charging infrastructure. The project is expected to be completed in 2019, according to Electrify America, with the Envoy car-sharing fleet eventually expanding to 140 vehicles in over 70 locations.

Under the terms of the Volkswagen diesel settlement, Electrify America will continue investing in infrastructure and general promotion of electric cars, with California getting the largest share of funds of any state. Of the $2 billion total, $800 million is earmarked for the Golden State, while the remaining $1.2 billion will be divided up among the other 49 states.

Electrify America recently announced its second round of California investments. The program will spend $200 million between July 2019 and December 2021, primarily on charging infrastructure. Priorities will include installing charging stations in more rural areas and incentivizing home charging. While Electrify America is spending VW’s money, charging stations it installs are open to drivers of all electric cars.