Electric 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 79 grants for the 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.
Public school districts in East Baton Rouge and Lafayette parishes are among those qualifying for discounts on 142 cleaner-burning buses as pa…
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.
Net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is the governor’s goal
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:
- A Level 2 light-duty electric vehicle station provides 240-cycle electricity that can charge vehicle batteries over several hours.
- A direct current fast charger can charge a vehicle in as little as 30 minutes.
- A paratransit charger station is designed to service multiple vehicles at once.
Grants in the New Orleans area include:
- City of New Orleans, five light duty chargers, one fast charger, $95,000
- Xavier University, two light duty chargers, one fast charger, $47,200
- Jefferson Parish government, three light duty chargers, two fast chargers, $106,000
In the Baton Rouge area, grants include:
- Capital Area Transit System, one paratransit station, $30,000
- City of Baton Rouge, one fast charger, $36,000
- East Baton Rouge Recreation and Parks Commission, six light duty chargers, 1 fast charger, $107,000
- Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, three fast chargers, $138,000
- LSU campus sustainability, three light duty chargers, $36,000
- Southern University, four light duty chargers, $48,000
Lake Charles area grant recipients include:
- Sowela Technical Community College, three light duty chargers, $36,000
- City of Westlake, three light duty chargers, $36,000
- Calcasieu Parish Airport Authority, three light duty chargers, $36,000
Lafayette area grants include:
- Lafayette Utilities System, four light duty chargers, one fast charger, $83,000