In July 2016, Volkswagen (VW) agreed to a multiple-part settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency as a result of the installation of ‘defeat devices’ on their diesel engines in violation of the Clean Air Act. This settlement will deliver the clean air promise VW failed to meet, and provides a huge opportunity for Southeast to expand upon the rapidly growing electric vehicle infrastructure in the region. There are two key programs of that settlement that offer emissions reduction opportunities for states:


1. Zero Emissions Investment Commitment - $2 billion:


VW will spend $2 billion over 10 years on actions that will support increased use of zero emission vehicle (ZEV) technology in the U.S. VW will administer the program. The investments will include three primary areas of focus:


  1. Investing in EV charging infrastructure (which includes the design, planning, construction, installation, operation and maintenance)

  2. The development of brand-neutral education and public outreach campaigns to increase awareness about EVs

  3. Programs that will increase public exposure or access to ZEVs


VW will updated the investment plan every 30 months. Draft plans for the first 30-month plan is already underway, but VW will be taking suggestions and projects over the course of the 10 years. To learn more and to submit a proposal for these funds visit: electrifyamerica.com


2. Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement - $2.7 billion:


The purpose of these funds is to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions where VW diesels operated. Funds are allocated among beneficiaries (states, tribes, and certain territories) based on the number of impacted VW vehicles in their jurisdictions. The Southeast will receive more than $427 million:

Eligible projects include:

  • Replacing or repowering older diesel engines (large trucks, buses, freight switchers, ferries/tugs, medium trucks, etc.) with new diesel, alternate fueled engines, or all-electric engines

  • Replacing diesel vehicles with new, alternate fueled, or all-electric vehicles  

  • Installing charging infrastructure for light-duty electric vehicles (up to 15% of the funds can be spent on this)


Once the Trust Effective Date is established, states will have 60 days to file a Certification Form in order to become a beneficiary and receive settlement funds. The Office of the Governor designate a "lead agency," to be in charge of funds.   To see what each state is doing please click on the links below:

Lead Agency: Tennessee Department and Environment and Conservation (TDEC) 


Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, Link here. 


Funding distribution:

60% Buses

15% Light-duty charging infrastructure (the maximum 15% allowed)


Lead Agency: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)


Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, Link here


Funding Distribution: 

40% School bus replacements - not specifically all-electric

20% Transit bus replacements

20% Heavy-duty on-road and off-road replacement projects

15% Light-duty charging infrastructure (the maximum 15% allowed)


Lead Agency: Department of Insurance (DOI)


Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, Link here.


Funding Distribution:

80% School, shuttle, and transit bus replacements (diesel, alternative fuel or all-electric)  

10% Light-duty charging infrastructure  


Lead Agency: Governor's Office of Planning and Budget


Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, Link here.


Funding Distribution:

100% Buses (clean diesel or electric buses)  


Lead Agency: Department of Environmental Protection


Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, Link here.


Funding Distribution:

85% All-electric school buses 

15% Light-duty charging infrastructure (the maximum 15% allowed)


To stay current on how each state is managing the funds, visit the Atlas EV Hub website here.