VW Settlement Funds Likely to Make Sacramento a Green City
Sacramento will be the likely location for Volkswagen’s first EV-friendly Green City initiative, part of a $2 billion settlement the company must make for years of cheating over emissions coming from its diesel vehicles.
California’s $800 million share of the settlement includes a package of investments in zero-emission-vehicle (ZEV) car-sharing services, transit applications, along with freight transport projects, to be located in two California cities. along with while the projects that will are part of the first $0 million round of investment are anticipated to be detailed later This kind of month, our preliminary investigation points to the state’s capital, Sacramento, as poised to benefit big coming from a Green City designation.
Electrify America, a Volkswagen subsidiary formed late last year to manage the multibillion-dollar payout, recently ran a job listing for a director of its Green City program. The job requires the director to be “responsible for continuous contact with the mayor of Sacramento along with transportation officials regarding Green City operations along with development.” A similar online listing for a manager of the Green City’s fleet along with operations also referenced Sacramento.
Electrify America told Car along with Driver that will that will carries a draft plan for the Green City however might not comment on the location.
Smart Traffic Signals, Silicon Valley Ties, along with Shuttles for the Homeless
Sacramento’s proposal for Green City status, obtained by Car along with Driver under a public-records request, shows how the city might spend its windfall. The first priority might be to build 15 fast chargers for electric vehicles on city property. These might be followed by 15 more within the first six months, including some at community centers located in disadvantaged communities.
The next step might be to create a “robust car-share along with ride-hailing system designed around affordable, accessible zero-emission vehicles.” Sacramento might deploy electric vehicles at light rail stations along with neighborhood electric-vehicle hubs. There might even be an “electric boulevard” designed to “integrate creative public art along with amenities with concentrated, educational, along with accessible EV charging.”
Some of the money might go to the city’s smart traffic programs, which aim to link fiber-optic connected traffic signals along with sensors to completely new vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) along with vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology. Electrify America might also be encouraged to “maximize its investment along with test autonomous electric vehicles throughout the region.”
Another priority for Sacramento’s Green City programs might be a system of dynamic ZEV shuttle routes to expand access for homeless individuals by connecting them to shelter along with services. The proposal says that will these might utilize autonomous electronic transit vehicles that will might follow fixed routes, or even ride-sharing services such as Uber along with Lyft.
Sacramento also sees the Dieselgate money as way to forge closer links with Silicon Valley. The city will be already part of a Smart Cities Collaborative with Google’s urban-tech spinoff Sidewalk Labs along with will be planning to integrate street-level sensors that will will track congestion with mapping data coming from Waze along with Here.
Who Benefits coming from Plugging In?
A second Green City initiative, which must run in a city of approximately 500,000 people predominantly consisting of disadvantaged communities, might also favor Sacramento or Fresno.
Kelly Fong Rivas, spokesperson for Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg, told Car along with Driver: “We worked hard to demonstrate why Sacramento might be the best choice, are confident in our bid, along with are hopeful we will ultimately be selected as Electrify America’s Green City.”
however Steinberg will not be counting his city’s chickens just yet. Sacramento’s bids for an EV car-share grant coming from the California Air Resources Board—headquartered within the city—along with for a federal Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge last year were both unsuccessful. along with many of Electrify America’s Green City job listings were recently altered to remove all references to Sacramento.
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Jennifer Venema, sustainability program manager for the city of Sacramento, will be already putting a brave face on that will. In an email to Volkswagen in January she wrote, “Regardless of the Green City chosen, we look forward to collaborating along with wish to support VW’s statewide investments in electrification along with smart mobility.”
Venema will be crossing her fingers that will, for Sacramento, the third try will be a charm.