ectric vehicle charging stations worth a total of more than $1.7 million are coming to 26 local government agencies, universities and electric utilities in Louisiana.
The Department of Environmental Quality is awarding grants for 82 charging stations, using money from the state’s $19.8 million share of an almost $3 billion settlement in 2016 between the U.S. Justice Department and Volkswagen over violations of the Clean Air Act. Volkswagen sold about 590,000 vehicles equipped with devices that defeated their air pollution control features, resulting in increased emissions of nitrogen oxide.
Almost $12 million of Louisiana’s share was set aside to replace 351 diesel engine buses owned by 16 local school boards. Almost half of the new buses are fueled by cleaner-burning propane or compressed natural gas; the others are cleaner-burning diesel engines. In each case, the new engines will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and other pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter.
Nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxides are precursor chemicals that, combined with sunlight, create ground-level ozone. The school boards must prove that the engines of the replaced buses were destroyed before receiving the money.
Another $7.3 million from Louisiana's share of the national settlement was given to the Department of Transportation and Development and the Department of Agriculture to replace old diesel equipment and vehicles.
The new grants, which include funds not spent in the earlier rounds of projects, are aimed at helping entities that either plan to buy or already have bought electric vehicles, by providing them with three different levels of charging stations:
Grants in the New Orleans area include:
In the Baton Rouge area, grants include:
Lake Charles area grant recipients include:
Lafayette area grants include:
Other area grants: