The first "Green City" in America is right here in Northern California. That designation for Sacramento also comes with tens of millions of dollars from Volkswagen's smog test cheating agreement.
In addition to paying billions of dollars for the settlements with the state and federal governments, Mark McNabb, CEO of the Volkswagen subsidiary called Electrify America, said Wednesday that the auto maker's mea culpa includes fixes or buy-backs for the over 33,000 cars in question. "Remediate the air quality, so take care of past and future air issues as a result of this," McNabb said. "Then last was really about 'how do you rebuild your brand?' and 'how do you rebuild trust in America?', and we thought an investment in new technology and new infrastructure would be the right way to do it."
That new infrastructure includes a build of more than 350 community electric charging stations in California's major metro areas over the next several months, many in lower-income neighborhoods as a way to add to their affordable transportation options, as well as a backbone of fast-charging stations along major highway corridors, like I-80 or Highway 99, so more people can start to use zero-emission electric vehicles without worry about distance limitations.
City and County leaders say they plan to double or triple the investment to draw other companies in to use Sacramento as a proving ground for new vehicle technologies.