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Regulators Approve Scaled-Back Vehicle Charging Pilot For Duke

Electric vehicle charging stations at the city-county parking deck in Charlotte.
David Boraks
Electric vehicle charging stations at the city-county parking deck in Charlotte.

Updated Monday, Nov. 30, 2020
State utility regulators have given Duke Energy partial approval for a pilot program to install electric vehicle charging stations across the state.

Duke originally proposed the $76 million plan in April 2019. The North Carolina Utilities Commission gave the go-ahead for a scaled-back version, saying the company failed to demonstrate the full pilot program is needed.

One potential competitor also argued in a filing with the commission that aspects of the original proposal would give Duke an unfair advantage.

Duke spokesman Randy Wheeless said the scaled-back plan will cost about $25 million.

“This is a great step toward more EV adoption in North Carolina and a cleaner environment. It gives Duke Energy a platform to implement new programs, but also allows for future programs that will benefit more customers,” Wheeless said.

Plans call for charging stations in public places and apartment complexes, as well as for electric school buses. According to Duke, the company will install, own and operate a variety of facilities:

  • 160 public Level 2 charging stations at public locations.
  • 40 public accessible direct current fast charging (DCFC) around the state.
  • Up to 80 Level 2 charging stations for residents of multifamily dwellings.
  • Duke also plans to help public school systems buy 30 electric school buses to replace older diesel school buses. Duke will pay up to $215,000 per bus on a first-come, first-served basis.

Read details of the approval on the Utilities Commission website, NCUC.net

David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.