Duke Energy Proposes $76 Million Program For Electric Vehicles And Chargers

Apr 1, 2019
Originally published on April 2, 2019 3:47 pm

Duke Energy is proposing a $76 million program to add more than 2,500 public and private electric vehicle charging stations statewide and to promote the use of electric vehicles.

The program is outlined in a filing with the North Carolina Utilities Commission Monday. It includes rebates for residential and consumer customers who install private charging stations, and about $2 million to install more than 800 public charging stations across the state.

The company also pledges to help school districts pay for up to 85 electric school buses and for charging stations for electric public transit buses.

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The new public charging stations would be in addition to those planned by the state of North Carolina, using about $4 million from a $92 million settlement with Volkswagen over falsified vehicle emissions systems.  

“This initiative will help accelerate public and private EV [electrive vehicle] use while also reducing carbon emissions," Lang Reynolds, Duke’s director of Electrification Strategy, said in a news release.

The state currently has more than 10,000 plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, and about 600 public charging stations, Duke said. Some plug-in electric and hybrid cars can be charged using standard 120-volt electrical outlets, but more powerful 240-volt chargers, known as "Level 2" chargers, allow for charging up to six times faster.

The filing offered details of the planned rebates and grants:

  • Homes — Duke will offer rebates of up to $1,000 to up to 800 residential customers who install Level 2 charging stations. That would cover most of all of the cost.
  • Fleets —  Up to 900 businesses, governments or universities would get rebates of up to $2,500 to install charging stations for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
  • Public charging stations — Duke is planning to install and operate more than 800 public charging stations statewide. These could include DC Fast Charging and Public Level 2 chargers, as well as chargers in multifamily residential developments. Duke says it will spend about $36 million on this project.
  • Electric school buses Duke Energy will spend more than $18 million to help school districts buy up to 85 electric school buses, and to install chargers.
  • Transit Buses Duke Energy will install and operate more than 100 electric transit bus charging stations for transit agencies that decide to swap diesel-fueled buses for electric ones.
  • There's also several million dollars in the program for "education and outreach."

Duke is calling the program a three-year pilot project. It's similar to one the company has begun in Florida. It's also similar to an electric-vehicle program the company proposed last year as it tried to win approval for rate increases in North Carolina. That program wasn't enacted, so the company is pursuing it through a separate proposal, a spokesman said.

Duke is asking the North Carolina Utilities Commission to approve the program within two months. It says the pilot program would begin this fall.

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