Duke to spend $76 million in EV charging infrastructure


Duke Energy is asking the North Carolina Utilities Commission to approve a $76 million programme to install over 2,500 public and private electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

If approved, the pilot project will see $2 million in investments directed towards the installation of 800 public EV charging points over a period of three years.

Participating customers will receive $1000 rebates in rebates to install EV charging stations in residential and commercial customer premises.

The state currently has more over 10,000 plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, but of the 600 current charging points, just 43 are publically accessible, with just 86 access plugs available.

The 800 public charging stations proposed would supplement those planned by the state, which will be using $4 million of a $92 million settlement with Volkswagen after the automaker was found guilty of falsifying emissions readouts.

A similar $10.6 million programme was proposed last year, but wasn’t enacted, so the company is trying a different approach, according to a spokesperson.

“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.

The filing offered details of the planned rebates and grants:

  • Homes: Duke will offer rebates of up to $1,000 to a maximum of 800 residential customers who install fast-chargers – that amount would cover almost all the cost.
  • Public charging stations: Duke will install and operate approximately 800 public fast-charging stations in the state, including chargers in multi-family residential developments, to the value of approximately $36 million.  
  • Fleets: Approximately 900 commercial, public or educational institutions will be given rebates of up to $2500 should they install EV charging stations.
  • Electric school buses: Duke has earmarked $18 million or the purchase of 85 electric school buses.
  • Public transport buses: Duke will install and operate approximately 100 bus charging points for transport agencies that switch from diesel to electric.
  • Education: The utility has also budgeted several million dollars for education and outreach efforts.

Duke must “prepare for and better understand the electrical needs and impacts of (the) growing population” of EVs, the utility said in its regulatory filing.