The Volkswagen emissions scandal cost the German car company billions of dollars and was a lousy deal for its customers, but further down the chain it resulted in an opportunity for Overland Park engineering company Black & Veatch.
Black & Veatch announced on Thursday it had been picked by Electrify America, a division of Volkswagen, to build and install hundreds of electric vehicle chargers across the United States.
Electrify America came as a result of Volkswagen's 2017 settlement with the Justice Department after the car company was caught developing 590,000 diesel vehicles designed to dodge and cheat emissions tests. Volkswagen paid a $2.8 billion criminal penalty and a $1.5 billion civil settlement.
Volkswagen also committed, through Electrify America, to invest $2 billion over 10 years in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure. That includes 2,000 chargers at 484 sites spread across 39 states.
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Black & Veatch is one of two companies that will help the Reston, Va.-based unit of Volkswagen with engineering, permitting and construction of electric vehicle charging sites. Within a year, those charging stations will be operating or under construction.
"Our approach to zero-emissions vehicle infrastructure means we can work on multiple sites concurrently and efficiently, providing greater speed to market," said Dean Siegrist, associate vice president of Black & Veatch's transformative technologies business. "The results are project efficiency for Electrify America and greater options for EV drivers."
The Black & Veatch chargers will be 150- to 350-kilowatt devices, which are expected to charge electric vehicles up to seven times faster than standard 50-kilowatt chargers.