As part of a $1 million investment in rural electric vehicle charging infrastructure, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives have installed three new DC Fast chargers along major highway corridors in cooperative-served communities. These charging stations aim to not only encourage the increased adoption of electric vehicles and their environmental benefits, but also support commerce, tourism and economic development in rural areas.
The new stations include one at Avon Pier on the Outer Bank’s Hatteras Island, which is served by Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative (CHEC). The new DC Fast charger complements two Level 2 charging stations CHEC has already installed in Waves and Hatteras Village.
“Hatteras Island is a popular travel destination, and an electric vehicle charging station will help draw visitors and economic activity to this area, while also supporting the environmental and cost-saving benefits of electric vehicles,” said Susan Flythe, general manager and EVP of CHEC. “EVs offer numerous opportunities to both drivers and communities, and we want to do everything we can to encourage their adoption and make it easier for EV owners to travel throughout our state.”
Earlier this week, Central Electric held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new DC Fast charger located right off U.S. 1 in Moncure near Jordan Lake, which is a popular attraction in the area. A third DC Fast charger located at the office of Pee Dee Electric along U.S. 52 and U.S. 74 in Wadesboro will be available for public charging by the end of the year.
DC Fast Charge stations can charge a depleted electric vehicle’s battery to 80 percent capacity in under 30 minutes, which makes them ideal for public areas located along highway corridors.
Level 2 charging is three to five times faster than Level 1 (a standard 120-volt outlet) and provides 10 to 20 electric miles per hour. These stations are commonly found in public locations, including shopping centers, downtown areas, multifamily communities and workplaces. They can also be installed at home if a 240-volt outlet is available.
The rest of the $1 million in funding will be used to install seven additional DC Fast Chargers and 11 Level 2 chargers in cooperative-served communities across the state. ChargePoint, an industry leader in EV charging infrastructure and networks, will supply the equipment and apply technical expertise in managing and installing the sites. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are also pursuing funding available through the North Carolina Volkswagen Settlement to grow their EV charging network even further. Currently, the cooperative charging network includes public charging stations at more than 30 locations across the state.
In addition to investing in EV charging infrastructure, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives 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, and co-op members can also receive a special rebate when purchasing a Nissan LEAF. To learn more, visit ncdriveelectric.com.