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Electric car charging station companies want independent oversight after Volkswagen settlement

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Electric vehicle charging companies are calling for independent oversight of the $2 billion Volkswagen AG is required to invest in clean car infrastructure, saying VW should not have the power to shape the nascent electric car charging space.

The German automaker agreed to invest the money, which includes $1.2 billion nationally and $800 million in California, as part of its penalties for equipping hundreds of thousands of its diesel vehicles sold in the United States with software designed to cheat tailpipe emissions tests.

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While charging station companies called the money a potential “game changer,” they worry that if it is misspent, it could hurt competition.

“The agreement shouldn’t pick winners and losers, especially given that this emerging market transition will in no small part define 21st century transportation,” twenty eight companies, including ChargePoint, EV Connect and Electric Vehicle Charging Association, said in a letter to the U.S. Justice Department on Friday.

The letter, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, said an independent administrator is key to ensuring that the program treats all industry participants, regardless of business model and technology, fairly.

VW did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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“The program should be structured to benefit drivers in California and across the nation, not enable the settling defendants to enter or influence the markets for (zero emission vehicle) charging and fueling equipment and services,” the letter said.

It said regulators should earmark some of the funds for a rebate program to incentivize employers, apartment owners, workplaces and other facility managers who want to install EV charging stations.

A shortage of charging stations at workplaces and multi-unit apartment dwellings is seen as a key hurdle to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

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VW’s plan for spending the $2 billion, which has yet to be released, will be overseen by the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Tom Brown)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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GOP lawmaker cut the mic on black woman’s facts — but let white men spew ‘lunacy and lies’: report

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The Republican chair of a Tennessee legislative committee is under fire for cutting off the microphone while a woman of color was speaking -- but allowing white men to spew "lunacy."

"It took all of five minutes for Sen. Mike Bell, chairman of the Tennessee General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, to prove Cherisse Scott’s point. Scott is founder and CEO of Sister Reach, a Memphis organization that fights for reproductive freedom and health for rural women and girls of color struggling with poverty," Memphis Commercial Appeal columnist Tonyaa Weathersbee explained.

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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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