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State investing $3.1 million in EV charging stations

 | November 29, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY – State environmental officials announced on Thursday $3.1 million in funding to build electric vehicle charging stations. Requests for proposal will be accepted through March 1, 2019. The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is seeking RFPs for single-point chargers using direct-current fast charging and also projects to build multiple charging stations at designated electric vehicle transportation corridors.

Projects will be competitively bid for the purchase, installation and operation of publicly accessible EV charging stations throughout the state. The state’s goal is to build a strategic network of electric vehicle charging stations to increase EV use and offset fossil-fuel-powered cars in an attempt to cut air pollution and increase consumers’ comfort with those alternative fueled vehicles.

Energy and Environment Secretary Mike Teague wrote in a prepared statement that Oklahoma has been a leader in compressed natural gas vehicles and CNG infrastructure. The ChargeOK grant program is the next phase to advance the state’s alternative-fueled vehicle use and expand its infrastructure. Gov. Mary Fallin wrote in a prepared statement that the funding will be crucial to the future of the automobile, energy and utility industries in the state.

The ChargeOK Grant Program receives funding from the Volkswagen State Environmental Trust. The nationwide trust agreement was established after the carmaker settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The federal regulator sued the American subsidiary of the German automaker after university scientists discovered software designed to falsify air pollution tests on VW’s diesel cars. Vehicles that burn petroleum-based fuels produce nitrous oxides, which combine with other chemicals in the atmosphere and can form smog.

The settlement established a $2.7 billion trust fund, from which states, tribal nations and U.S. territories can apply for grants to cut air pollution from diesel vehicles. Each entity is eligible for a certain amount based on the number of 2-liter and 3-liter VW diesel vehicles were sold in that state, territory or tribal jurisdiction. Oklahoma is eligible for nearly $21 million over 10 years.

Read more about the Volkswagen settlement agreement and trust fund.

State officials previously said they were interested in seeking the grant money in phases, so as technology develops, the money can be used to implement the latest equipment and vehicles on the market.

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