Volkswagen sold a minority of its stake in Electrify America to Siemens. The deal made the company value increase to $2.45 billion. Jointly both the companies will be investing $450 million to double the charging stations in the US by Electrify America by 2026.
The deal was announced amid an EV sales spike in the US. Despite the numbers representing only a fraction of the overall vehicle sales. The progress is increasing. As part of the president’s infrastructure plan, around $5 billion is being funded for EV charging stations. Around 500,000 charging stations are to be built by 2030 with the funds allocated under Biden’s administration.
Electrify America is currently operating more than 730 charging locations, having 2,438 individual charging points. Biden’s plan will include various partners to help shoulder the huge costs of building and maintaining the stations. An entire charging network from scratch is being built in the coming years. DC fast chargers can cost up $250,000 to install, that can supply up to 350kW of power. The costs could vary depending on the location.
Siemens has a minority stake in Electrify now, amounting to “a low triple-digit million USD investment.” The exact amount is not disclosed yet. The company will also get a seat on the board of directors of the company Electrify America.
Siemens, which has said it wants to build 1 million EV chargers in the US, is Electrify America’s first external investor. VW created the business in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal, in which the automaker installed software in its vehicles to deceive government pollution tests.
VW says the plan is to “more than double Electrify America’s charging infrastructure to 1,800 locations and 10,000 fast chargers by 2026.” The company is also in the process of building a series of new “human-centered” charging stations in California and New York, complete with solar panel awnings and a lounge-like waiting area.
EV charging in the US is difficult and intensely fragmented, especially for people who don’t own a Tesla. There are approximately 41,000 public charging stations in the United States, with more than 100,000 outlets. But finding one that actually works or isn’t locked inside gated parking can be a challenge. While Tesla has already started providing its charging services to other EVs in Europe. It is still being tested. Also, in the US Tesla’s plug-in points are not the regular ones used in public charging stations. The challenges with the electric vehicle transition continue, including manufacturing of vehicles and installing charging stations.