You may have heard of Electrify America, a company spending a lot of money to install electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations across the US.
What you might not know its parent company is Volkswagen, and it only came about as a result of the settlement from the diesel emissions scandal in 2016.
As part of the settlement, VW agreed to spend $2 billion in the US building EV infrastructure, thereby creating Electrify America.
With plans to have 800 total charging station with about 3,500 chargers installed by the end of 2021, VW announced in 2019 it was going to be using Tesla batteries at many of their locations.
According to a post on the TMC forums by a user named Tim S who spoke with a technician working at a site in Albany, New York, the automaker is installing these batteries “all over the place”, and hopes to have 400 installations complete before the end of the year.
It appears however as though VW doesn’t want everyone knowing they are using a competitors batteries, so the Tesla logo is being deliberately removed from the battery cabinets.
So why would VW be installing Tesla batteries at their EV charging stations? Cost. With varying rates charged for electricity by utility companies, money can be saved if energy can be taken at off-peak times when electricity is cheaper, stored in the Tesla battery system, and then used during peak times when electricity is more expensive.
With VW completing 400 of these installations this year alone, it should prove to be a fairly significant source of income for Tesla. This is yet another example of legacy automakers helping to pad Tesla’s bottom line.
In the second quarter of 2020 alone, Tesla made $428 million by selling emissions credits to automakers who don’t make enough EVs to satisfy regulatory requirements.
UPDATE: Electrify America has responded to our article this morning on Twitter, saying it is no secret they are using Tesla batteries, citing their news release from 2019 that we reference above. We have asked for confirmation if they are asking their technicians to remove the Tesla logo from the batteries, and will update this article if we receive a response.