Photo via Flickr/Noya Fields

Photo via Flickr/Noya Fields

The City of Sacramento, Calif., has been approved as the first Green City, a designation that gives it $44 million in funding from the Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved the Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America’s proposal to choose Sacramento.

The funding will pay for projects such as zero emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure designed to increase access to ZEV technology in metro areas and disadvantaged communities.

“We are thrilled to be approved and selected as the first Green City in Electrify America’s proposal to help improve air quality and public health through increased access and use of electric vehicles,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “We have both the need and ability to leverage this significant investment to serve our disadvantaged communities, to push forward on our tech industry recruitment, and to continue creating public-private-partnerships that uplift our entire city.”

Sacramento has already initiated a car sharing service that serves low-income communities as a result of a CARB grant, and Electrify America intends to build on that work. A key component of the $44 million Green City investment will provide access to ZEVs to those who do not own ZEVs, or cannot afford to own ZEVs, and represent an underserved population.

Overall, Electrify America will invest $800 million in California over the next 10 years — with a significant first investment coming to Sacramento — to support the increased use of ZEV technology with more ZEV infrastructure and education. When the investment is fully implemented, Electrify America hopes to grow California’s ZEV refueling infrastructure while contributing to improved air quality and public health, and helping to transform California’s ZEV market.