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VW of America Wants to Make its EVs, Plug-Ins Even Cleaner

Taking slightly different approaches, Audi and Volkswagen are preparing to launch plug-in vehicles in the U.S., and both automakers are looking to make their clean cars even cleaner. Announced at the Management Briefing Seminar hosted by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), both automakers (through VW of America) have introduced new plans for Level 2 Chargers, solar charging stations and carbon offsetting.
2015 Volkswagen e-Golf 1 photo
Photo: VW
With the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf going on sale later this year and the 2015 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron due to hit dealers during the second half of next year, VW has has teamed up with Bosch Automotive Service Solutions to provide and install home chargers for customers. For the e-Golf, the chargers and installation will be priced “highly competitive,” while A3 Sportback e-tron will come standard with the car (although home installation will cost extra).

To make charging even easier for its customers, VW looked to ChargePoint to install charging stations at dealers authorized to sell the e-Golf hatchback. Though this program, e-Golf drivers will have access to more than 18,000 of the ChargePoint stations in the U.S. as well as use of the ChargePoint mobile app. This app lets drivers locate available charging stations and, once connected, view status updates and initiate charging sessions.

In addition to these options, VW and Audi have teamed up with SunPower to offer solar charging as another option for home charging. VWoA is the first automotive company to work with SunPower, which the automaker says has the most efficient roof-top solar panels on the market. These systems will help further reduce the cost of ownership for the e-Golf and A3 Sportback e-tron, but it can even provide back-up power in the event of an outage. There will be lease, loan and purchase programs for the solar chargers, but there is no word as to what pricing might be.

Finally, both automakers have set up carbon offsets in California and Africa. Set up through 3Degrees, the credits are designed to offset production and distribution of the vehicles and batteries as well as the first 50,000 miles of operation for the A3 Sportback e-tron and the first 36,000 miles for the e-Golf.
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