Duke Energy North Carolina EV charging pilot gains approval

Plugin electric vehicle at charging station on street. Chevrolet Volt; PEV; electric car

The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) last week approved an electric vehicle pilot program for Duke Energy in North Carolina, which Duke says will be the largest such program in the state.

Duke originally proposed a $76 million plan in April 2019. The North Carolina Utilities Commission gave the go-ahead for a scaled-back version with a currently estimated budget of $25 million.

Through the program, Duke will install, own and operate a total of 160 public Level 2 charging stations at public destinations to encourage EV adoption. The company will collect utilization and other load characteristics to understand potential grid and utility impacts.

Highlights of the plan:

  • Duke Energy will install, own and operate 40 publicly accessible direct current fast charging stations throughout North Carolina.
  • It will install, own and operate up to 80 Level 2 charging stations for residents of multifamily dwellings — providing easy access to EV charging for non-homeowners throughout the state.
  • It will help replace 30 older, diesel school buses with zero-emission school buses in public school transportation systems. The funding will be up to $215,000 per bus on a first-come, first-served basis to school districts.

The NCUC left open the door for additional programs – instructing the company to create a stakeholder process to craft future programs to spur future EV adoption in the state.

The NCUC ruling comes one month after the Public Service Commission of South Carolina approved a $10 million EV charging pilot in South Carolina.

“This pilot will support electric vehicle adoption in North Carolina, which can drive economic and environmental benefits in the state. It also allows Duke Energy to move forward to expand access to charging infrastructure that will benefit all customers,” said the company’s Lang Reynolds, director, Electrification Strategy.

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