Volkswagen is reportedly looking to sell a stake in Electrify America that would come with a $1 billion investment into its electric vehicle charging network.
What company, and especially automaker, do you think could be interested in such a deal?
Electrify America was launched by Volkswagen as part of its settlement with the US government over the Dieselgate scandal.
As part of the settlement, instead of paying more fines, the automaker was forced to “invest $2 billion in ZEV charging infrastructure and in the promotion of ZEVs” in the US.
The German automaker poured that money into Electrify America to create a new network of fast-charging stations in the country.
It turned out to be a good investment, certainly better than fines, for Volkswagen, which now owns the biggest thrid-party fast-charging network in the US.
In an interesting development, we now learn that Volkswagen is reportedly interested in selling a stake in Electrify America (via Reuters):
“Volkswagen is to sell a stake in its electric vehicle charging unit Electrify America, two people familiar with the matter said, as the carmaker looks for outside funds to build infrastructure for battery-powered cars. Volkswagen is working with Citi to look for a co-investor that is prepared to inject roughly $1 billion into the division, the people said, adding that the company is expected to shortly reach out to infrastructure groups and other potential investors.”
When asked about the report, Electrify America declined to comment and instead said that the company is focused on its current network expansion plans.
The company wrote in an email to Electrek:
“Electrify America, the largest open DC fast charging network in the U.S., is accelerating the rate of charging infrastructure installations across the U.S., currently with more than 630 charging stations and over 2,700 individuals chargers at those stations. We are focused on having about 800 stations and 3,500 chargers by the end of 2021. We have nothing to share beyond those plans.”
The report didn’t point to any particular company that Electrify America is talking to about this possible $1 billion investment into the network.
This is a really interesting development.
If accurate, it would mean that Volkswagen plans for Electrify America to become something closer to Ionity, which is a big network of charging stations in Europe owned by several major automakers, like BMW, Ford, Hyundai, and Volkswagen.
Obviously, any company could invest and take a stake, but it would make sense for an automaker to make that investment since their rollout of electric vehicles in the market would benefit from the greater investment in charging infrastructure while giving them a stake in it.
I’d be curious to know who Volkswagen and Electrify America are talking to. Ford? GM? Who do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.
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