Duke Energy preps for EVs with 60 fast chargers and incentives for homeowners

As electric vehicles (EVs) enter the market and sales continue nationwide, the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC) has approved two Duke Energy electric transportation pilot programs that will allow South Carolina to join other states in deploying EV infrastructure to meet the needs of this growing market.

Duke Energy will install, own and operate 60 fast chargers across Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress South Carolina territories to provide a foundational level of infrastructure and facilitate EV market growth. Fast chargers installed under this program will feature next-generation power output of 100 kilowatts (kW) and above, ensuring South Carolina keeps pace with advances in the market.

This program will also provide up to $1,000 for 400 residential Duke Energy Carolinas customers who install a Level 2 charging station, provide access to their charging data, and manage EV charging load to occur during off-peak periods.

Originally proposed in 2018, Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress participated in working-group sessions with stakeholders for feedback on the plans. The approved programs – the first in the Carolinas – reflect the inclusion of much of that feedback, as well as agreements with the Office of Regulatory Staff and ChargePoint.

“Electric vehicles are coming to South Carolina, but more investment is needed to grow the adoption of this evolving technology and the benefits it brings to the state,” said Mike Callahan, Duke Energy’s South Carolina president. “We’re listening to our customers to ensure we understand their electrification plans and needs. These pilot programs will help prepare us to meet the challenge to ensure we can keep up with increasing demand for electrification.”

The pilot programs were designed to support the growing EV market in South Carolina considering the significant economic benefits created by switching transportation fuel from gasoline to electricity. Expanding access to fast-charging infrastructure will allow customers across South Carolina who drive electric to enjoy fuel cost savings and help eliminate emissions from transportation.

The residential program from Duke Energy Carolinas will also gather current charging load data to better understand the effects of EVs on Duke Energy’s electric system and determine the ability of customers to respond to load management programs.

The findings of these programs will be available to the public through an annual stakeholder engagement process as well as a final report submitted to the PSCSC. The programs start Jan. 1, 2021.

The South Carolina programs join others that have been proposed or implemented across the states served by Duke Energy. The company is also leading by example, recently announcing that by 2030, Duke Energy will convert all its light-duty vehicles to electric and 50 percent of its medium-duty, heavy-duty and off-road vehicles to EV, plug-in hybrids or other zero-carbon alternatives.

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