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NCCETC Drives Awareness & Adoption of Clean Transportation Technologies at Alternative Fuel Vehicle Demonstration Days

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at NC State University welcomed hundreds of attendees celebrating Earth Month for two Clean Transportation Demonstration Days as well as several vehicle displays and Ride & Drive events hosted throughout April.

The Clean Transportation program at NCCETC hosts Ride & Drive and Vehicle Displays for a variety of audiences to provide an opportunity for attendees to learn more about clean transportation technologies including electric vehicles (EVs) and other alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), along with dealers and local EV drivers onsite to answer questions about the driving experience behind the wheel of an EV. 


On April 11 and 12, NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program hosted two Demonstration Days ‒  one in Garner, North Carolina and another in Jacksonville ‒ to give government entities across North Carolina and the Southeast the opportunity to access information and experience with clean transportation technologies.

Attendees were able to hear real-world case study results and learn about the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization during the classroom instruction portion of the event. Key speakers and presentations included NCCETC’s Executive Director Steve Kalland, Heather Hildebrandt of the NC Department of Transportation, Annie Lee from the Triangle J Council of Governments’ Clean Cities Coalition, Sam Spofforth of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  and representatives from companies leading the way in alternative fuel options, technologies, and more. 

Speakers from Alliance Autogas, Potter EV, Cenntro, Cary Cartco, Pioneer eMobility and Electrify EVSE presented on topics such as telematics, safety, idle reduction technologies, vehicle electrification, and other strategies that improve fleet sustainability. The Southeast Propane Alliance and Propane Education and Research Council were also sponsors of the event. An overview of the presentation slides are available to download on NCCETC’s website.

Following classroom instruction, attendees explored a diverse display of vehicles and alternative fuel technologies such as electric and alt-fuel vehicles, buses, police vehicles, utility vehicles, charging equipment and more. View the graphic below for a preview of the display lineup.

“Demonstration days are a great opportunity for government employees to gain hands-on experience with alternative fuel vehicles and network with others to learn more about the benefits of clean transportation,” said Heather Brutz, Director of the Clean Transportation program at NCCETC. Attendees were even able to test drive some of the vehicles themselves or ride-along as they took a lap around the track. 

The local community in Raleigh, NC was also able to test drive electric vehicles at NCCETC’s Earth Day EV Ride & Drive at The Corner on NC State University’s Centennial Campus on April 21, 2023. Students as well as the surrounding community were invited to explore alternative fuel vehicles and grab lunch from a food truck across the street. Some of the vehicles featured at the event included a Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, Tesla Model S, Ford F-150 Lightning, Ioniq Electric, Kia EV6, Kia Niro Electric, Nissan Leaf, Polestar 2, and a Toyota RAV4 Prime.


The following day, on Earth Day, NCCETC joined the Piedmont Triad Regional Council, the regional EV Association Chapter, TEVA of NC, and the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition for an electric vehicle showcase booth at the 18th Annual Piedmont Earth Day Fair. Attendees were able to see, feel and sit in EVs from the region while getting answers to questions from EV owners themselves. 

NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program propels the development, awareness and use of alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies. Our clean transportation program’s outreach and education initiatives include workshops, meetings, conferences and communication campaigns highlighting the benefits of using clean transportation technologies- from alternative fuel to sustainable fleet management.

NCCETC recently published two new resources to support individuals and organizations planning a ride and drive and vehicle display event:

  1. NC Ride and Drive and Vehicle Display Guidebook for the General Public
    • This guidebook provides answers to frequently asked questions about hosting Ride & Drive and Vehicle Display events to target the general public.
  2. NC Ride and Drive and Vehicle Display Guidebook for Specialized Audiences
    • This guidebook provides answers to frequently asked questions about hosting Ride & Drive and Vehicle Display events to target specialized audiences.

NCCETC hosts several Ride & Drive events throughout the year for a variety of audiences. For general audiences, NCCETC hosts Ride & Drive events at public events such as NC State University football games where fans are invited to explore a lineup of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles before kickoff during the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Demonstration & Tailgate event.

Specialized events are held for handpicked audiences. The audience can represent special interest groups such as fleet managers, law enforcement, first responders or emergency management, policy makers, and state and local government personnel. NCCETC’s Clean Transportation Demonstration Days for government entities are one example of these specialized events.

Ride and drive and vehicle display events are one of the biggest opportunities to promote driver awareness and advance the adoption of clean transportation technologies. These events enable interested drivers to experience driving EVs and AFVs, find educational resources, and assimilate a wide variety of information about the vehicles’ operability, handling, availability, costs, environmental benefits, fun factor and more. We hope these event guidebooks will empower others to start hosting ride and drive events in their own communities!

Vote Now: “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest Polls Open

The polls are open for the “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest – vote now for your favorites!

Vote for your favorite art in each age category (kindergarten through high school). Artwork should focus on actions that people can take to reduce air pollution from vehicles and help keep our air clean. Examples: walking, biking, using public transportation, carpooling, using electric vehicles or biofuels, and more.

Winners in each category will be featured on billboards across the state!

The contest poll closes at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17.

Winners will be announced in June. Stay tuned on and For more information or any questions, email Amira Ferjani at

Vote Now to Support a Student’s Artwork→

NC Cooperative Demonstration of Vehicle-to-Grid Smart Charger Concludes with Positive Results

As electric vehicles (EVs) build market share across the United States, it will be increasingly important to balance the rising demand for charging services at times when the grid has excess capacity, reducing the total costs for grid services instead of increasing them. Bidirectional charging through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology has the capability to deploy demand-response actions to ease concerns, however, and add resilience benefits while decarbonizing emergency generation.

Findings from a two-year demonstration of a V2G technology in North Carolina show the positive economic potential for using bidirectional charging technologies to feed energy stored in electric vehicle batteries back to charging sites, especially when the grid is experiencing high demand. The NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) along with Advanced Energy, Enpira, Clean Energy Works, and the Environmental Defense Fund observed this powerful demonstration of a bidirectional charger and software platform from Fermata Energy.

Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s (REC) headquarters in the rural town of Ahoskie, North Carolina, served as the test site for Fermata Energy’s FE-15 bidirectional charger along with the cooperative’s two Nissan LEAF Plus cars. The Nissan LEAF has led the way in the fully electric passenger vehicle market that is capable of vehicle-to-grid technologies in the United States. The market has since grown with the vehicle-to-building capable F-150 Lightning, the Hyundai IONIQ, and the Kia EV6 expanding the development of V2X technologies.

NCCETC Clean Transportation Specialist, John Bonitz said, “We’re honored to be involved in pilot programs like this demonstration at Roanoke Electric Cooperative that can help make fleet electrification more economically viable by proving the value of integrating V2B and V2G technology to shave peaks, improve grid optimization and increase resilience — all while helping the cooperative and its members save money.”

Quantifying the potential value streams from bidirectional charging allows utilities to begin considering incentive payments and other EV program options for customers and members. By demonstrating significant positive value, this study encourages utilities in similar market conditions to help customers overcome the financial barriers to purchasing an EV, particularly in low- and moderate-income areas where these costs may restrict EV adoption. Roanoke is also considering a demand response program to incentivize EV growth and use the storage capacity to reduce peak demand and other charges while at the same time helping to make the transition to EVs more affordable for customers.

A bidirectional EV can receive energy (charge) from electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) such as the FE-15 and provide energy to an external load (discharge) when it is paired with a similarly capable EVSE. “Bidirectional chargers, simply put, can unlock new value streams by enabling energy to go into the car’s batteries or, when needed, can discharge energy back into the grid, a building, a house, or any electrical load,” explained John Bonitz. EV owners can use bidirectional charging to save money with their local electric utility, thus reducing the total cost of ownership of the vehicle.

With only vehicle-to-building use cases, REC demonstrated monthly gross savings that exceed the monthly lease cost for its EVs. Use of the bidirectional EVs as mobile battery storage reduced behind-the-meter electricity costs through three use cases: peak load reduction and load following, backup generator support while the building was islanded from the grid, and coincident peak demand reduction.

Peak load reduction shrinks the cooperative’s building’s monthly demand from the electrical grid, which can generally decrease the facility’s electric bill; load following adjusts the power output from an EV’s batteries as the building’s load increases and decreases; and coincident peak demand is when the cooperative’s peak coincides with the overall grid-system’s peak, thus helping both the electric cooperative, the local region and its customers by minimizing pollution generating sources while reducing electric service costs for all member-owners.

Smart charging and discharging solutions with V2X can be programmed to meet the fleet operator’s needs. V2G systems can schedule responses to system-wide peak demand events in advance, so a fleet manager can choose to reserve the vehicle for the grid (or building) at that time while leaving the vehicle plugged in. After the bidirectional event, the V2G system allows scheduled recharging to be programmed to meet fleet needs while providing transparency on the monetary value the vehicle can provide at different times for grid operations. Alternatively, the fleet manager or vehicle operator can choose a program to prioritize the readiness of the vehicle for transportation first, and grid-support services second.

Fermata Energy’s FE-15 can provide 15 kilowatts (kW) of power to the car and back to the site served by the grid. REC schedules dispatch of the onboard battery in response to predicted peaks, which usually last two to three hours. Using only one of REC’s Nissan LEAFs, the bidirectional charging system has been able to reduce the cooperative’s load and lower system-wide peak demand charges in 11 out of 22 months – every time the peak window was successfully predicted and communicated by the energy suppliers.

In addition to system-wide peak demand response, bidirectional charging can be used for demand charge management for building peak load reduction and load following. Despite having relatively modest demand charges of $9.50/kW, Fermata Energy’s software and charger strategically dispatched the Nissan LEAF battery to reduce REC’s headquarters’ building demand charges, resulting in savings in 16 out of 24 months.

“The combined value streams produced gross savings for REC of more than $3,200 per year, per charger – that’s greater than the lease cost of the EV,” Bonitz said. “The value of this single unit hints at the broader potential for much greater savings when multiplied by many units, serving multiple EVs or even integrated across an entire fleet of EVs.” He further clarified these savings would be in addition to the lower operating costs and fuel savings that have long been demonstrated by electric fleet vehicles.

Both public and private fleets in the United States are looking into viable strategies to transition away from internal-combustion engine vehicles and replace them with EVs. V2G technology can ensure that EVs are charged and ready for driving, secure on-time departure, and reduce total costs of ownership by generating additional revenue for owners.

Vehicle-to-building (V2B) technology could also keep the power on for critical services, such as hospitals and shelters, during extreme weather conditions and other emergency outages, reducing or even eliminating the cumulative number of hours these essential systems have to use backup diesel generators.

The Electrification Coalition’s new guide, “V2X Implementation Guide and Mutual Aid Agreement Template for Using Vehicle-to-Everything-Enabled Electric School Buses as Mobile Power Units to Enhance Resilience During Emergencies” describes the potential to use V2X-enabled electric school buses (ESBs) as alternative emergency backup power sources during outages. The adoption of ESBs is rising as school districts and fleet operators become aware of the significant benefits: clear air for student passengers, savings on bus fuel and maintenance costs, and reduced carbon emissions. ESBs are also gaining attention for their potential to enhance critical electric infrastructure resilience and reliability. Click here to learn more about this resource and how utilizing ESBs to power critical facilities in emergencies can enhance infrastructure resilience, save lives, and strengthen our energy and national security.

On a residential scale, EV owners could use vehicle-to-home (V2H) technology to power their homes during lengthy blackouts. With a bidirectional charging system, homeowners could pull power from their vehicle’s batteries to keep fridges, lights, and heating and cooling systems on in their homes.

Bonitz said, “We’re honored to be involved in pilot programs like this demonstration at Roanoke Electric Cooperative that can help make fleet electrification more economically viable by proving the value of integrating V2G technology to shave peaks, improve grid optimization and increase resilience – all while helping the cooperative and its members save money.”

Quantifying the potential value streams from bidirectional charging allows utilities to begin considering incentive payments and other EV program options for customers and members. By demonstrating significant positive value, this study encourages utilities in similar market conditions to help customers overcome the financial barriers to purchasing an EV, particularly in low- and moderate-income areas where higher EV costs slow their adoption. As the pilot program continues at Roanoke Electric, management is considering a demand response program to expand numbers of EVs by using these bidirectional value streams to help make the transition to EVs more affordable for their member-owners.

NCCETC and Advanced Energy are now sharing these lessons learned with interested parties across NC and beyond.  Other cooperative utilities are intrigued to learn of ways that these EV charging infrastructure investments can help pay for themselves while reducing overall costs for their member-owners.

Mapping Electric Vehicle Charging Station Site Suitability with New GIS Tool by NCCETC

Global momentum towards zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) adoption has continued to accelerate over the last year. For 2022, annual passenger electric vehicle (EV) sales were on track for around 10.6 million units, up from 3.1 million in 2020 and 6.6 million in 2021, according to a November 2022 report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Moreover, some assert that a tipping point has already been reached, with 5 percent of new U.S. car sales being EVs.

With the market share of EVs continuing to grow, there is a nationwide call to establish robust charging infrastructure and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) needed to fuel the electrification of transportation in the United States. Utilities and fleet technology companies are still in the early stages of deployment, and charger site selection is a multi-criteria process with varying considerations for each site.

To help planners and developers select the perfect site to fit their needs, the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at NC State University recently developed a customizable tool for prioritizing the placement of EV chargers. The EVSE Suitability GIS product is not only able to consider several variables relevant to determining charging infrastructure siting benefits, but also has a custom weighting function so developers can tailor the weight of each variable being considered to their unique situation. The GIS product was created using data for the five counties covered by Roanoke Electric Cooperative: Bertie, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, and Northampton.

NCCETC’s Alexander Yoshizumi coordinated with Roanoke Electric Cooperative (REC) while creating the EVSE Suitability GIS tool, identifying factors to include in the suitability tool in addition to the approximate weight that each factor should be given. Last month, Yoshizumi presented the results and deliverables of the project to REC staff and lent his expertise to ensure a seamless transfer of the EVSE Suitability GIS tool.

“Tools like these are going to be invaluable for selecting charging sites that are sustainable and accessible while helping meet community needs and statewide sustainability goals,” said Yoshizumi. North Carolina’s Executive Order 246 established goals to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent no later than 2030 and increase the number of registered ZEVs to at least 1.25 million by 2030.

The EVSE Suitability GIS tool enables utilities and other EVSE developers to efficiently and accurately determine site suitability with the flexibility to explore alternative weighting schemes. For the scope of NCCETC’s project, the suitability tool was applied over a 5-county region that REC serves, and several variables of interest to include were determined according to REC.

Yoshizumi explained how this tool differs from others in that it pairs customizable variable weighting with a fine scale unit of analysis, providing a much more granular understanding of where suitability is highest. For example, the Regional EV Charging Infrastructure Location Identification Toolkit uses the census tract as its unit of analysis. “Not only can census tracts vary substantially in size, but many are also of a coarse resolution,” stated Yoshizumi. The median census tract area in North Carolina is approximately 369 acres, whereas the EVSE Suitability GIS product’s unit of analysis is just 40 acres.

“Prioritizing charging sites is a complex process and, for each site, there are a variety of factors to consider and weigh for an accurate depiction of the site’s value,” noted Yoshizumi. The variables of interest were grouped into five categories: infrastructure, population and vehicle density, hazards, equity and other points of interest.

Infrastructure variables of interest included data on existing EVSE, roads and highways, proximity to interchanges, and electric grid accessibility and interconnection capabilities. The geographic distribution of EVs is not uniform, so population and vehicle density can be valuable for identifying opportunities to construct new EV charging infrastructure.

“For REC’s territory in particular, in eastern North Carolina, flooding is a key concern that could limit site access or damage installed equipment, so the tool can take this hazard into consideration, too,” Yoshizumi said.

Points-of-interest in the EVSE Suitability GIS product can indicate businesses or amenities that could be valuable to the public like nearby parks or restaurants that can occupy a driver’s time while they wait to charge. Another consideration is that certain types of points-of-interest are more likely to coincide with facilities, safety and visibility such as access to public restrooms or parking areas monitored by surveillance cameras.

As EVSE developers map out charging infrastructure and EVSE locations, they will need to maximize site selection to support an equitable and swift transition to zero-emission vehicles. “By incorporating all of these datasets into one adaptable tool, users can explore multiple scenarios with different priority weights with ease,” stated Yoshizumi.

The staff behind NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program are committed to helping diversify fuel supplies and support cleaner, more vibrant local and state economies. The end result – cleaner air and greater energy security for all.

The 50 States of Electric Vehicles: State ZEV Targets, Managed Charging, & LMI Access Prioritized in 2022

Raleigh, NC – (February 8, 2023) The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its 2022 annual review and Q4 2022 update edition of The 50 States of Electric Vehicles. The quarterly series provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

The report finds that, for the second year in a row, all 50 states and DC and Puerto Rico took actions related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure during 2022 (see figure below). The greatest number of actions related to rebate and grant programs, rate design, charging station deployment, and targets for state procurement of electric or zero-emission vehicles.

2022 State and Utility Action on Electric Vehicles

The report highlights ten of the top electric vehicle trends of 2022:

  • States planning for the distribution of National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program funding;
  • Focusing on incentives over utility infrastructure deployment;
  • Utilities proposing charging-as-a-service programs;
  • Pursuing electric vehicle charging solutions at multi-unit dwellings;
  • Utilities designing managed charging programs;
  • Establishing statewide targets for zero-emission vehicle sales or adoption;
  • Utilities exploring vehicle-to-grid capabilities through pilots;
  • Policymakers addressing siting issues and HOA restrictions;
  • Dedicating funding to transportation electrification for low-income customers; and
  • Advancing deployment of electric school and transit buses.

“States filed plans with the federal government for their use of National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure, or NEVI, funding in September. The NEVI program was created by the bipartisan infrastructure law in 2021,” noted Rebekah de la Mora, Policy Analyst at NCCETC. “Funds will first go towards building out designated interstate alternative fuel corridors. The timeline between each state varies; some won’t have definitive plans for a few more years, while others are preparing to release RFPs in the near future.”

A total of 790 electric vehicle actions were taken during 2022. The report notes the top ten states taking the greatest number or most impactful actions in 2022 were California, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, North Carolina, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Arizona, and Colorado.

“Building off the NEVI plans they filed this year, states policymakers ratcheted up their EV policy activity in 2022,” observed Brian Lips, Senior Policy Project Manager at NCCETC. “In addition to very EV-specific activities, like new managed charging programs and incentives for charging equipment, a number of states also took steps to harmonize their EV planning activities with other utility planning activities.”

In Q4 2022, 38 states plus DC and Puerto Rico took some type of action on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. A total of 361 actions were tracked in Q4.

View the 50 States of Electric Vehicles 2022 Annual Review and Q4 2022 Executive Summary
View and Purchase the 50 States of Electric Vehicles 2022 Annual Report and Q4 2022 update FULL Report
View other 50 States Reports – Solar, Grid Modernization and Electric Vehicles


The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, sustainable energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information about the  Center, visit: Twitter: @NCCleanTech

Media Contact: Shannon Helm, NCCETC,

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