State regulators approve $200 million VW clean-car investment

The California Air Resources Board approved the first phase of Volkswagen’s plan to invest $800 million to support zero-emission vehicle use in the state over 10 years.

The money stems from a settlement last year after the company admitted to having programmed millions of diesel vehicles to cheat on federal and state emissions tests.

In a unanimous vote Thursday, the board approved a $200 million investment over 30 months by the automaker. The money will be spent on projects that include a network of 400 charging stations, public education programs and a $44 million “green city” initiative in Sacramento aimed at demonstrating the benefits of emissions-free cars.

“We are pleased that Volkswagen can now move forward with its ambitious plan to help bring electric vehicle technology to corners of California ignored in earlier efforts,” air board chair Mary Nichols said in a statement after the vote.

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