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Green Mobility in the Southeast

The State of the Green Mobility Industry in the Southeast: Market Trends and Policies Driving Transportation Electrification

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) recently published The State of the Green Mobility Industry in the Southeastern United States, a market study commissioned by the Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C. to gain an understanding of the current state of the industry for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure and their related supply chain, as well as biofuels and hydrogen, and to understand market opportunities for Dutch companies.

Electric vehicle adoption across the United States is happening faster than previously forecasted, with annual electric vehicle (EV) sales on track for around 5.6 million units in 2021, up from 2.1m in 2019 according to a report released earlier this month by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Several automakers have also committed to produce only electric vehicles, including General Motors, which announced that its vehicle lineup would be entirely electric by 2035.

Still, EVs are in the early stages of adoption and many states have enacted policies and incentives to mitigate the relatively higher up-front costs of electric vehicles and expand the charging infrastructure needed to support them in order to accelerate the adoption and deployment of electric vehicles. Recently, the US Senate passed an infrastructure bill containing approximately $12 billion in support for electric vehicles, including $7.5b for a nationwide charging network.

With the focus on green mobility, including electric and alternative fuel vehicles, growing nationwide, it is expected that green mobility opportunities will also increase in the US Southeast. However, the outlook for these opportunities varies significantly by state and technology depending on adoption rate, state policies and utility efforts, and existing manufacturing facilities and infrastructure.

The Embassy of the Netherlands commissioned the report to be a resource for Dutch companies interested in exploring opportunities in sustainable mobility in  the Southeast US. For the purposes of the report, green mobility is defined to include the following: electric vehicles, batteries, smart charging, charging infrastructure, hydrogen and synthetic fuels.

The State of the Green Mobility Industry in the Southeastern United States also provides an overview of recent developments in federal and state policy, utility programs, and brief descriptions of stakeholders in each state, including private businesses, convening non-profits and industry groups, and relevant research centers. The report covered the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

NCCETC staff from both the Policy & Markets program as well as the Clean Transportation program wrote the report and consulted with several of the US Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Coalitions across the southeastern United States, including the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition, Louisiana Clean Fuels, Middle-West Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition, and Palmetto Clean Fuels Coalition.

Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina have become leaders in the deployment of EV charging infrastructure in the Southeast. Furthermore, Tennessee is showing great strength for fast charging deployment specifically, with the Department of Environment and Conservation working in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority to develop a statewide EV fast charging network.

The electric vehicle, battery and EV infrastructure manufacturing industries are closely related, with several states having different opportunities across the green mobility landscape in the Southeast. South Carolina and Tennessee lead the region in vehicle manufacturing, while Georgia leads in battery manufacturing and North Carolina has a strong electronics industry supporting electric vehicle supply equipment.

“Legal and regulatory barriers can affect the pace and location of EV technology deployment, while clear policy goals can both provide market certainty and accelerate deployment,” said Autumn Proudlove, a contributing author on the report and NCCETC’s Senior Policy Program Director.

The Policy & Markets team at NCCETC maintains the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), a comprehensive online database of federal, state and utility policies and incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Earlier this year, DSIRE announced the addition of incentive programs for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure to the database.

“Electric utilities are also taking a leadership role in advancing transportation electrification in several Southeast states through direct infrastructure deployment, incentive programs, and special rate offerings,” added Proudlove. Customers in states such as Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina can benefit from rebates for residential and commercial Level 2 charging stations that serve these customers’ private needs.

In August 2021, a new executive order set ambitious targets to make half of all new vehicles sold in the US in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs), heightening attention from federal and state governments to accelerate the deployment of EVs and charging infrastructure to support transportation electrification. These federal policies will continue to drive demand higher across the nation, resulting in an increase in EV manufacturing in the automobile industry in the southeastern US.

For interested Dutch investors, the southeastern states with the greatest opportunity depend on which aspects of the green mobility industry best fit the interests of Dutch companies, according to the report. One of the largest cross-cutting trends for the region is the importance of the automotive industry. “Most of the states in the Southeast are home to either vehicle assembly plants or automotive supply chain manufacturers,” said Heather Brutz, one of the report’s authors and Finance & Operations Manager for NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program.

Additionally, several Southeast states like Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina had a higher prevalence of manufacturing specifically related to battery electric or fuel cell vehicles. Biodiesel and ethanol production has lost popularity, but there are still users and producers of those fuels in the Southeast.

Renewable diesel, on the other hand, is gaining popularity in the US. Due to the refining process for renewable diesel, regions with existing refineries are more likely to have the needed infrastructure and skilled workforce needed for renewable diesel refineries. “This benefits the Gulf Coast states that already have existing refinery industries, especially Louisiana,” noted Brutz.

In the findings of the market study, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee presented some of the greatest manufacturing opportunities for electric vehicle, battery, and charging infrastructure manufacturing. Hydrogen production also shows potential in the Southeast, with Louisiana leading in hydrogen production.

The region’s existing manufacturing infrastructure, combined with federal, state, and utility policies and plans to expand green mobility, offer an opportunity to capitalize on the growing electric and alternative fuel vehicle markets. Several of the Southeast states present significant opportunities in different elements of green mobility, from EV charging infrastructure manufacturing and deployment to production of alternative fuels such as synthetic fuels and hydrogen.


ABOUT THE NC CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY CENTER
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center is a UNC System-chartered Public Service Center administered by the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University. Its mission is to advance a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. The Center provides service to the businesses and citizens of North Carolina and beyond relating to the development and adoption of clean energy technologies. Through its programs and activities, the Center envisions and seeks to promote the development and use of clean energy in ways that stimulate a sustainable economy while reducing dependence on foreign sources of energy and mitigating the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use.

 

Posted by Nicole Deck & John Bonitz

How to Fund Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in North Carolina

An Energica electric motorcycle charging with a ChargePoint DC Fast Charger in Wallace, NC. – Photo by Chris Maxwell

Are you interested in installing new Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) (electric vehicle charging stations) in your North Carolina community? There are three possible sources of funding to make it happen.

EVSE; an element in an infrastructure that supplies electric energy for recharging of plug-in electric vehicles including electric cars, neighborhood electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids; is deployed throughout the country in key areas for public charging as a supplement to residential charging, according to the US Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center.

There are three types of electric vehicle chargers – Level 1, Level 2 and DC Fast Charging. Types are classified by the rate at which the batteries are charged. Level 1 provides 2-5 miles of range per 1 hour of charging, Level 2 provides 10-20 miles of range per 1 hour of charging, and DC Fast Charging provides 60-80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charging. Learn more about each type of equipment and developing infrastructure to charge plug-in electric vehicles at the US Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center website here. You can also view the current map of EV chargers in the United States and Canada here.

There are three potential sources of funds to support installation of EVSE in North Carolina:

1. The VW Settlement gives North Carolina $92 million dollars for projects to reduce vehicular air pollution. These funds will be administered by NC DEQ as a part of their beneficiary mitigation plan. Fifteen percent of these funds will be allotted for EVSE (both Level 2 and DC Fast Chargers).

The NCDEQ just released a Request For Proposals (RFP) for VW settlement funds for DC Fast chargers this week. Under the DC Fast Charge program:

• $3.4 million will be available for the installation of Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Charging Infrastructure

• Projects in designated corridors will receive priority to expand the state’s charging infrastructure network

• Projects can be submitted by eligible businesses, incorporated nonprofits, and state, local, tribal or municipal government agencies

Applications will be available on July 1, 2019, and the submission deadline is September 30, 2019. The Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Level 2 Charging program RFP will be released at a later date. Read more about the NCDEQ RFPs here.

2. The NC Clean Energy Technology Center’s Clean Transportation team also has limited grant funding for EVSE. The next Clean Fuels Advanced Technology (CFAT) project RFP will be released in the fall or winter of 2019. Funding will be restricted to projects where there is no ground disturbance involved (such as in a parking deck or where wires and conduit are already in place) – and no digging, trenching, pavement cutting, repaving, etc. is allowed. Take a look at the last round of funding for insights on what the next round may look like, and join the newsletter list to know when the next RFP will be issued by going here. For more information on CFAT funding, contact John Bonitz at jhbonitz@ncsu.edu.

A Hyundai Ioniq EV charging in Hillsborough, NC. Photo By Chris Maxwell

3. Duke Energy plans to invest $76 million to help spur EV adoption across the state, according to Duke Energy. Duke Energy’s proposal to the NC Utilities Commission would help fund the adoption of electric school buses and electric public transportation, and lead to almost 2,500 new charging stations in the state – more than doubling the amount of public stations currently in North Carolina, according to Duke Energy. The initiative is to help meet Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order goals of having 80,000 electric vehicles registered in the state and to reduce the state’s carbon footprint by 40 percent below 2005 levels within the next six years. Duke Energy’s plan includes:

• Residential EV Charging: This program will provide a $1,000 rebate for qualifying Level II charging stations for up to 800 residential customers. Level II charging allows customers to charge their EVs up to six times faster than a standard wall outlet.

• Public Charging: Duke Energy will install and operate more than 800 public charging stations across North Carolina, including DC Fast Charging, Public Level II and multifamily locations, which will expand the state’s network of EV charging stations.

• Fleet EV Charging: The program will provide a $2,500 rebate for 900 qualifying charging stations for commercial and industrial customers who operate fleets that are transitioning to electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Municipalities and universities also qualify for these rebates.

• EV School Bus Charging Station: Duke Energy will provide financial support to eligible customers to procure up to 85 electric school buses. Duke Energy will install the associated charging infrastructure.

• EV Transit Bus Charging Station: Duke Energy will install and operate more than 100 electric transit bus charging stations for eligible transit agencies electing to procure electric buses. Electric transit buses eliminate diesel emissions and reduce fuel and maintenance costs for transit agencies.”

Source: Duke Energy

Source of electricity is taken into consideration in scoring CFAT grant proposals, with renewable-sourced energy scoring higher.  The NC DEQ VW Settlement program will give up to 10 bonus points when RECs are purchased to offset grid electricity purchases.  The Duke Energy program is still in early stages of proposal and development, and it is not yet clear what their criteria will be.

For any questions on Duke Energy’s EVSE initiatives, contact Lisa Poger at Lisa.Poger@duke-energy.com.

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