Plug-in NC Celebrates National Drive Electric Week With an All-Electric Road Trip

It’s National Drive Electric Week, and to celebrate this year’s event, Plug-in NC is taking a 1,000-mile road trip through North Carolina and Virginia in a Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle named “Wattson” to showcase the capabilities of EVs and spotlight the growing number of charging stations, including several chargers owned by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives. Everyone is invited to follow along virtually on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to learn more about driving electric and ask questions.

Wattson, PlugInNC’s Chevy Bolt

Currently, there are approximately 20,000 EVs registered in North Carolina and over 2,100 charging station outlets. The state’s electric cooperatives have installed nearly 60 charging stations, with more planned for the near future.

“Our state’s electric cooperatives are working to strategically fill charging gaps in rural communities,” said Diane Huis, vice president of innovation and business development for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “In addition to providing the opportunity for rural residents to experience the benefits of driving electric, this statewide network of cooperative charging stations helps support a brighter future for rural North Carolina by promoting environmental sustainability, commerce, economic development and tourism.”

“We’ve designed this road trip to intentionally travel to areas of North Carolina and Virginia that have some of the larger gaps in charging station access. I think this will resonate with North Carolinians and others because we’ll be traveling to many tourism hubs and corridors,” said Jacob Bolin, Plug-in NC program manager, who is Wattson’s driver for the cross-state tour. “I hope that sharing this experience will help ease potential EV drivers’ range anxiety and increase awareness of the growing number of available charging stations.”

Wattson refuels at the Four County EMC charger at the Mad Boar restaurant in Wallace.

Jacob’s and Wattson’s adventure kicked off on Sunday, Sept. 27 with a journey from Raleigh to Wilmington that included stops at two cooperative charging stations: Four County EMC’s station at the Mad Boar restaurant off I-40 in Wallace, and Jones-Onslow EMC’s charging station at the Hampton Inn in Sneads Ferry.

Instagram post highlighting Jones-Onslow EMC’s charger at the Hampton Inn in Sneads Ferry.

Day 2, Monday, Sept. 28, took Jacob and Wattson through cooperative-served territory between Wilmington and Atlantic Beach, and Day 3 included a rainy ride from Cedar Island out to remote Ocracoke Island in Tideland EMC’s service area.

Today included a trip along North Carolina’s Outer Banks and a stop at Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative’s DC Fast Charger at the Avon Pier on Hatteras Island.

Also, check out this interview with Cape Hatteras’ own Laura Ertle talking about their EV chargers and the importance of the cooperatives’ electric vehicle charging network:

We’ll be posting more from the remainder of Plug-in NC’s seven-day trip, so stay tuned! To learn more about the benefits of driving electric and the electric cooperatives’ expanding network of electric vehicle chargers, visit