Virginia AEE Applauds Gov. Northam’s Plan to Apply VW Settlement Funds to Electrification of Transit Buses
Business group calls Northam plan to award grants to support municipal plans to electrify local fleets “a farsighted, transformational use of VW settlement funds with immediate and long-term benefits for Virginians”
RICHMOND, October 31, 2018 — Business group Virginia Advanced Energy Economy (Virginia AEE) applauded the announcement from Governor Northam today that the Administration will apply the second tranche of VW settlement funds toward projects to electrify municipal fleets across the Commonwealth. The $14 million will be awarded to projects that help to close the cost differential of converting diesel fleets to electric. This program is structured to integrate seamlessly into the transportation financing process conducted by the Virginia Department of Rail and Transportation.
“Governor Northam’s plan is a farsighted, transformational use of VW settlement funds that will deliver immediate and long-term benefits for Virginians,” said Harrison Godfrey, Executive Director, Virginia AEE. “We are pleased to see this strong market incentive to convert municipal diesel bus fleets to electric, and to spur development of the critical infrastructure to support them.”
This announcement follows Governor Northam’s announcement Aug. 9, to apply its first tranche of VW funds (about $14 million) toward developing electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with a contract awarded to EVgo.
On Oct. 2, his Administration released the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan, which recommended “[exploring] legislative, administrative, and public-private opportunities to accelerate electrification (p. 41) and evaluate opportunities for local governments to aggregate purchasing (p. 41),” among several other reforms to modernize the electricity system, increase energy efficiency, and expand renewable energy resources.
"Taken together, these announcements show a dedication on the part of the Administration toward transforming the transportation sector through electrification," said Godfrey
Godfrey encouraged stakeholders across Virginia to move swiftly on the Governor’s announcement and noted additional long-term strategic benefits for the Commonwealth.
“We urge local policymakers, agencies and utilities, working in conjunction, to move quickly to develop plans that meet award criteria so they can put these funds to use,” said Godfrey. “We have a unique opportunity to electrify transportation in Virginia and drive the development of innovative technology and programs, with long-term savings and benefits to the Commonwealth and its citizens."
About AEE and Virginia AEE
In Virginia, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) operates as Virginia Advanced Energy Economy (Virginia AEE), a group of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. Virginia AEE seeks to drive the development of advanced energy to boost the state’s economy and competitiveness by working to remove policy barriers, identify market growth opportunities, encourage market-based policies, establish public and private partnerships, and serve as the voice for companies innovating in the advanced energy sector. Track industry news @AEEnet and @VA_AEE.