Most utilities have ignored the potential profits that can accrue from supplying the electricity needed to keep electric cars going, but Duke Energy has been one of the first US utility companies to embrace the opportunity. Last fall it announced it was installing 530 EV chargers in its service area in Florida.
This week, it says it has decided to invest $76 million to expand the EV charging infrastructure in North Carolina. If approved by that state’s Utilities Commission, the plan would add more than 3500 EV chargers to the Tar Heel State and provide other clean transportation benefits as well.
According to WFAE News in Charlotte, it has asked the to approve a plan that has 5 main parts:
- Homes — Duke will offer rebates of up to $1,000 to up to 800 residential customers who install Level 2 charging stations. That would cover most of all of the cost.
- Fleets — Up to 900 businesses, governments, or universities would get rebates of up to $2,500 to install charging stations for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
- Public charging stations — Duke is planning to install and operate more than 800 public charging stations statewide. These could include DC Fast Charging and Public Level 2 chargers, as well as chargers in multifamily residential developments. Duke says it will spend about $36 million on this project.
- Electric school buses — Duke Energy will spend more than $18 million to help school districts buy up to 85 electric school buses and to install chargers.
- Transit Buses — Duke Energy will install and operate more than 100 electric transit bus charging stations for transit agencies that decide to swap diesel-fueled buses for electric ones.
There are also several million dollars budgeted for “education and outreach,” something CleanTechnica’s Carolyn Fortuna wrote about last week. The EV chargers installed by Duke Energy will be in addition to those planned by the state of North Carolina, using about $4 million from the Volkswagen diesel cheating scandal. The state has about 600 public EV chargers at present.
“This initiative will help accelerate public and private EV [electrive vehicle] use while also reducing carbon emissions,” Lang Reynolds, Duke’s director of electrification strategy, said in a news release. Once it gets approval from the Utilities Commission, the company says it will start construction of the new chargers this fall.
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