The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality has awarded eight of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives a total of more than $700,000 in Volkswagen Settlement funding to install 10 high-speed electric vehicle charging stations in rural and suburban communities throughout the state.
The cooperatives’ existing electric vehicle charging network currently includes 57 Level 2 and DC Fast charging stations located in communities from the mountains to the coast. The 10 newly funded DC Fast charging stations will fill critical charging gaps and help promote adoption of zero-emission electric vehicles. Each co-op will be responsible for funding and adding the electrical infrastructure necessary to support the awarded charging systems, and ChargePoint, an industry leader in EV charging infrastructure and networks, will supply the charging equipment.
Cooperative members and travelers can expect to see these fast charging stations in place within the next two years along the following travel corridors:
- Albemarle EMC off U.S. 17 Bypass in Elizabeth City
- Blue Ridge Energy at its office on U.S. 421 in Boone
- Edgecombe-Martin County EMC at its office off U.S. 64 in Tarboro
- EnergyUnited off I-40 in Mocksville and Statesville
- Haywood EMC off I-40 in Waynesville
- Piedmont Electric on N.C. 54 in Carrboro and off I-40/85 in Mebane
- Randolph EMC along N.C. 24/27 in Mount Gilead
- Roanoke Electric off I-95 in Halifax
“We are thrilled to receive such tremendous support from the Department of Environmental Quality for our electric vehicle efforts through Phase 1 of the Volkswagen Settlement Mitigation Plan, and we thank them for prioritizing projects that will address critical charging gaps throughout rural North Carolina,” said Diane Huis, senior vice president of innovation and business development for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “These projects encourage not only the environmental and cost savings benefits of electric transportation, but also promote education, commerce, tourism, economic development and improved quality of life in our communities.”
North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives’ commitment to improved quality of life for members and communities is also demonstrated through its partnership with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to gain $277,000 in settlement funding for an all-electric school bus. The new bus will serve a route in southwestern Randolph County and Randolph EMC will provide a DC Fast charger and related electrical infrastructure for the bus on the campus of Southwestern Randolph Middle School. The cooperatives will also analyze how charging the electric bus affects the local electric grid and Randolph County School System’s electric bill, allowing the project to serve as a case study for future applications of electric vehicle technology.
Funding for these projects comes from North Carolina’s $92 million share of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s settlement with Volkswagen for unlawfully cheating on vehicle emissions, the first phase of which includes nearly $30 million to replace school and transit buses and install zero emission vehicle fast charging stations across the state. Together, these projects will reduce 31.8 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions annually, equal to the annual NOx emissions of more than 51,000 passenger cars.
The state’s electric cooperatives also offer a variety of benefits and incentives to electric vehicle owners, including special EV electricity rates, low interest EV loans and rebates for purchasing an electric vehicle or installing a Level 2 home charger. EV buyers can also take advantage of a federal tax credit. For more information, visit ncdriveelectric.com.