Three years ago, the Volkswagen company admitted it had covertly installed software in more than half a million cars allowing for those vehicles to pass exhaust tests.
When it was later revealed that those same vehicles were emitting up to forty times the amount of allowable pollutants, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company agreed to a settlement seeing it pay nearly $3 billion to the states.
That money, as legally defined, was to be generally used to fund efforts across the country to reduce pollution from diesel engines in the states, although it would be up to state officials themselves as to how they would specifically use the unexpected windfall.
In Colorado, $14 million of the Volkswagen money has gone to six different state transit agencies and paid for the purchase of 28 alternate fuel buses. The state is now in the process of putting together competitive applications for the addition of electric buses later this year.
Arizona officials opted to replace more than three hundred aging diesel-powered school buses with new less-polluting new diesel-powered vehicles.
In New Mexico some $6 million has so far been spent paying for replacement school buses and delivery trucks in Albuquerque, along with ten new solid waste trucks in the South Valley, among other projects.
Now the State of New Mexico has announced that it is contemplating the idea of committing some $2.7 million in Volkswagen money to build a series of charging stations for light-duty electric vehicles.
Those stations would most likely go up in the more rural areas of the state.
A timetable for when the stations will be built has not yet been announced.
By Garry Boulard
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