This September 25th through October 3rd, 2021, the United States will celebrate National Drive Electric Week, sponsored by Plug in America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association. The celebration, which started in 2011, helps spread awareness about the benefits of driving electric, including decreased emissions, fuel savings and enhanced performance of electric vehicles (EVs). This year, National Drive Electric Week consists of hundreds of free events across the United States, both in-person and online.
Those interested in going electric can also explore a variety of EVs and their drivers’ experiences driving electric through our Electric Driver Profile series. NCCETC sat down with seven EV drivers to hear about the benefits of going electric.
Lisa Etnyre Boneham
Take a video tour of Helen DiPietro’s 2019 Nissan LEAF EV:
Take a video tour of Dave Erb’s 2015 Chevy Spark EV:
Take a video tour and ride-a-long in Wendy Gilliatt’s 2017 Chevy Bolt EV:
Links and event dates are provided below to learn more and register for upcoming National Drive Electric week events and webinars.
DSIRE now includes state and utility incentives for the following technology types:
Passenger Electric Vehicles
Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Electric School Buses and Electric Transit Buses
Medium- and Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicles
Neighborhood Electric Vehicles
Off-Road Electric Vehicles
Level 2 Electric Vehicle Service Equipment
Direct Current (DC) Fast Charging Equipment
Make-Ready Charging Equipment
“Adding electric vehicles and charging equipment to DSIRE is the largest expansion of its scope since we added energy efficiency technologies in 2006,” said Brian Lips, DSIRE Project Manager at NCCETC. “The 250+ additional incentives will maintain DSIRE’s status as the one-stop-shop for reliable information about policies and incentives for clean energy technologies.”
State and Utility Incentives for Electric Vehicles
DSIRE now includes over 250 incentive programs for the purchase of electric vehicles and associated charging infrastructure. There are currently state or utility incentives available in 38 states plus DC for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and electric buses. Incentives for electric vehicle charging infrastructure are currently available in 43 states plus DC.
State and Utility Incentives for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
“With the rapid growth in the electric vehicle market and the increased attention from the federal and state governments on accelerating deployment of EV infrastructure and vehicles, we believe that this was a critical expansion of the DSIRE portfolio. Furthermore, we believe the EV market is likely to increasingly converge with the rest of the clean energy space as ‘smart’ buildings, energy storage, and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies are folded together under the banner of grid modernization. Policymakers are exploring new regulatory approaches and incentives to get these technologies past early adoption and into mainstream use. We at NCCETC plan to make sure DSIRE is ready to help homeowners, businesses, policymakers, and others that need to navigate this rapidly changing policy landscape, says Steve Kalland, Executive Director of the NCCETC.
Summary maps showing the availability of electric vehicle and charging incentives are now available here. NCCETC plans to continue adding policy content related electric vehicles and charging infrastructure to DSIRE, including electric vehicle sales or adoption goals, state procurement targets, and charging-enabled parking requirements.
ABOUT THE N.C. CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY CENTER
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: http://www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCCleanTech
Last week, Governor Roy Cooper issuedExecutive Order 80, which calls for the State of North Carolina to protect North Carolina’s environment while growing clean energy technologies.
Executive Order 80 affirms North Carolina’s commitment to reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels, calls for a 40% reduction in energy consumption in state-owned buildings, and calls for an increase in registered, zero-emission vehicles (“ZEVs”) to at least 80,000 – all by year 2025, according to a press release from Gov. Cooper.
The Executive Order includes two transportation initiatives, specifically:
Taking action to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles, like electric vehicles (EVs), registered in North Carolina:
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (**DOT’), in coordination with DEQ, shall develop a North Carolina ZEV Plan (“ZEV Plan”) designed to increase the number of registered ZEVs in the state to at least 80,000 by 2025. The ZEV Plan shall help establish interstate and intrastate ZEV corridors, coordinate and increase the installation of ZEV infrastructure, and incorporate, where appropriate, additional best practices for increasing ZEV adoption. DOT shall complete the ZEV Plan for the Council to submit to the Governor by October 1, 2019.
…and encouraging state agencies to purchase and use ZEVs:
Cabinet agencies shall prioritize ZEVs in the purchase or lease of new vehicles and shall use ZEVs for agency business travel when feasible. When ZEV use is not feasible, cabinet agencies shall prioritize cost-effective, low-emission alternatives. To support implementation of this directive, the North Carolina Department of Administration (“DOA”) shall develop a North Carolina Motor Fleet ZEV Plan (“Motor Fleet ZEV Plan”) that identifies the types of trips for which a ZEV is feasible, recommends infrastructure necessary to support ZEV use, develops procurement options and strategies to increase the purchase and utilization of ZEVs, and addresses other key topics. DOA shall complete the Motor Fleet ZEV Plan and provide an accounting of each agency’s ZEVs and miles driven by vehicle type for the Council to submit to the Governor by October 1, 2019, and annually thereafter.
“This is a good step towards generating awareness and interest for plug-in vehicles,” said Rick Sapienza, Clean Transportation Program Director at NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC). “It is going to take a sustained effort that includes policy, education and motivation through incentives to really move the needle – as well as patience.”
In North Carolina, according toChargePoint, the state was third in the nation in EV growth in 2016, and Raleigh/Durham were the third fastest growing metropolitan areas for electric vehicles. In the last four years, growth has averaged more than 50 percent year over year, according to theAuto Alliance.
Total EV registrations (both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles) in North Carolina were at 7,946 in 2017, and in 2018, the numbers jumped to 10,001 just through June, representing a 26 percent growth. 1,670 EVs were sold in North Carolina in 2016, and 2,055 were sold in 2017, representing a Year Over Year increase of 23.10 percent, according to EVadoption.com.
There are more than 3.5 million vehicles currently registered in North Carolina. Reaching the Executive Order goal would require registering about an average of 11,000 vehicles per year between now and 2025.
“The numbers are growing, but still represent a small percentage of the market,” Sapienza said. “There is plenty of room for growth.”
Charging infrastructure availability and range anxiety remain barriers to consumer adoption of electric vehicles, according to the 2018 50 States of Electric Vehicles report. As battery technology and associated vehicle designs and technologies improve, vehicle ranges are increasing, but the lack of more widespread charging infrastructure remains a deterrent to greater market acceptance in most parts of the country, according to the report. While market factors play a large role in this, legal and regulatory barriers are also affecting the pace and location of infrastructure development.
However, as electric vehicle battery prices drop, and driving range and performance improve, more vehicle manufacturers are announcing the launch of new, all-electric vehicle models, according to the recent 50 States of Electric Vehicles Report.
“The options and technology are getting better every year,” Sapienza said. “We are in a very interesting and exciting time with regard to transportation.”