Duke proposal aims to accelerate EV charging infrastructure in North Carolina

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Duke Energy has filed a $56 million electric transportation proposal in North Carolina, its second such proposal, following six months of stakeholder input and deliberation.

According to the utility, the proposal aims to advance the state’s transportation electrification measures, with the ultimate goal of achieving 80,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. The filing  is the second that Duke has made to North Carolina regulators regarding electric transportation; the first was a $25 million electric transportation pilot program, approved in November 2020.

The latest proposal is expected to lead to the installation of more than 1,000 EV charging ports across the state. The filing outlines that these be 240V Level II fast charging stations, which have quickly become the standard for EV charging. These charging installations will be targeted at multifamily dwellings and along state highways. The utility also outlined plans to provide financial support to school systems to buy 60 electric school buses.

Aside from increasing public charging infrastructure, the Phase II pilot program is intended to sustain the development of a diverse fast-charging market, as the pilots will use hardware from multiple manufacturers.

The utility also is looking to develop a tariffed EV charging program for residential and business customers. The tariff would allow customers to install and operate EV charging stations for a monthly rate along with maintaining all operational choices, like brand of hardware and network. The goal is for this to become a zero upfront-cost option for customers charging EVs.

Duke separately filed for approval of a tariff to provide credits to reduce the upfront cost of upgrading electrical systems to install charging infrastructure for homeowners and businesses, further targeting the cost barrier of installing EV charging.

Outside of North Carolina, Duke has installed almost 600 EV public charging stations in Florida, including 50 in  previously-unserved locations, and has established a program in South Carolina to provide 400 customers with $1,000 to put towards the installation of a Level 2 charging station. Those customers would need to provide access to their charging data, and focus their charging to occur during off-peak periods.

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