Utility Giant Duke Energy to Invest $76 Million in EV Charging Programs
【Summary】Almost half of the funds (estimated $35 million) will be utilized to setup more than 800 public charging hubs across North Carolina.
Duke Energy, a leading utility company that distributes electricity to over 7.2 million customers in the US, has proposed major EV investments in North Carolina. If approved, it will provide $76 million to help build EV infrastructure and support outreach programs in the state.
The company's initiative is designed to support the state's sustainable energy goals. Outlined in Executive Order 80 (issued by Governor Roy Cooper), the program aims to increase the number of EVs in the area to 80,000 units by 2025.
"EV adoption has occurred at more than twice the rate of traditional hybrids when they were first released. Moreover, the EV market in North Carolina has increased significantly, with a compound annual growth rate of 39% since 2011," cited Duke Energy in its filing to the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC).
EV Rebates and Public Charging Hubs
The program will provide several incentives to customers. Duke Energy will issue $1,000 rebates to residential customers installing Level 2 EV charging stations (capped at 800 customers). Compared to conventional wall outlets, this type of unit is capable of charging EVs up to six times faster.
The utility company will also distribute $2,500 rebates to qualifying commercial and industrial businesses that use electrified fleets on a regular basis (capped at 900 customers). Schools and government offices are included in this category.
Almost half of the funds (estimated $35 million) will be utilized to setup more than 800 public charging hubs across North Carolina. At the moment, there are 43 public EV charging stations in the area and 83 accessible plugs for EVs in the state, which serves roughly 10,000 plug-in hybrid and electric cars.
In addition to serving local EV owners, the charging stations will enable individuals to travel comfortably along interstate corridors. According to the filing, the utility company wants to operate the EV chargers as well, further solidifying its services in the area.
Electric School and Transit Buses
The utility giant is not stopping at residential and public EV chargers. It also wants to devote $18 million to help local school districts purchase electrified school buses and setup EV charging stations for the vehicles. Based on the estimated amount, schools participating in the program could receive up to 55 electric buses. The arrangement entails the use of the batteries powering the electric buses as second-life storage assets after the units exceed their expected lifespan.
For communities, the business is offering to setup and operate up to 100 electric transit bus charging hubs. The units will support public transit bus agencies transitioning from diesel-powered vehicles to electric buses.
"North Carolina deserves a cleaner and smarter energy future, and supporting the use of electric transportation is a Duke Energy priority that will benefit our communities, customers and our state's future," said Lang Reynolds, Director of Electrification Strategy at Duke Energy.
Lastly, Duke Energy intends to support EV awareness within the state. The business has proposed $3.3 million for such activities, which includes forging collaborations with clean energy agencies and organizations.
Michael Cheng is a legal editor and technical writer with publications for Blackberry ISHN Magazine Houzz and Payment Week. He specializes in technology business and digesting hard data. Outside of work Michael likes to train for marathons spend time with his daughter and explore new places.
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