Electrification of transportation is exciting and challenging. Market forces are already pushing us in the direction of electric vehicles (EV), but our electric “refueling” infrastructure is lagging. Public and private investments are being made and more are coming in the form of grants, incentives, and substantial federal investments. In North Carolina alone, VW Settlement funds will bring ~$10 million this year. And the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) National EV infrastructure program (NEVI) will invest more than $109 million each year over the next five years in North Carolina.
Now, our challenge here in North Carolina is to prepare for this influx of funding, to ensure we are ready for it, and that we use it effectively and efficiently. This guidance document helps the reader understand how to get ready and where to find detailed guides for different aspects of building the new EV charging infrastructure.
There are many many “guides” already published, so we sorted through them to find the best and give pointers to them all. Now, you can easily find the best resources for you in our guide to the guides: Getting North Carolina Ready for Electric Vehicle Charging. We encourage local government planners, managers, fleet officers, and finance & purchasing administrators to be aware of this “guide to the guides.”
Let’s get ready!
What You’ll Find in The Guide
Getting North Carolina Ready for Electric Vehicle Charging covers:
Charging for homeowners
Charging for renters (apartment, townhome and condo dwellers)
Charging at work
The state of EV charger deployment in North Carolina
Locally-sourced North Carolina EV charging guides
Links to several valuable guides from organizations like:
The U.S. Department of Transportation
The Cadmus Group (in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Transportation)
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality is now soliciting proposals for participation in Phase 2 of the NC Volkswagen Settlement Mitigation Program. Phase 2 is the final phase, and the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) plans to invest the remaining $67.9 million settlement funds during the time period of 2022 – 2024.
The funds represent North Carolina’s share of the $2.9 billion federal settlement with Volkswagen (VW) due to its misrepresentation of diesel emission standards in certain vehicles. The Division of Air Quality (DAQ) was designated as the lead agency to manage the project in 2017 by Governor Roy Cooper, and Wilmington Trust officially named North Carolina as a State Beneficiary in January 2018.
SHIFTING GEARS IN PHASE 2
The DAQ is committed to ensuring that the funding is distributed equitably and that rural and lower-income counties receive funding. It is also conducting additional outreach to historically under-resourced counties to encourage more applications for the available funding to facilitate equitable use of the Phase 2 funds.
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) is partnering with the DAQ to host a series of public information sessions across the state to inform citizens about the VW Settlement Phase 2 funding opportunities, especially in Historically Under-Represented Counties. The Phase 2 Historically Under-Resourced County Outreach Program (HURCOP) aims to help counties that historically lack resources needed to effectively identify eligible vehicles for grant programs and submit quality applications.
The DAQ identified 37 Historically Under-Resourced Counties eligible for maximum funding amounts allowed by the VW Mitigation Consent Decree. Project applications in the 37 historically under-resourced counties may be eligible for the maximum funding amounts allowed as well as additional project scoring points.
Alrik Lunsford, Heather Brutz, and John Bonitz, with NCCETC’S Clean Transportation program, have conducted several in-person meetings with DAQ staff and will be attending the information session in Kernersville, NC on March 24 from 1 – 3 p.m.. Learn more about the in-person information sessions on the DEQ website and, if you are interested in attending, please register online. You can also find the presentation for the HURCOP information meetings online on the DEQ website.
Past HURCOP In-Person Information Sessions hosted by NCCETC & DEQ:
Henderson – February 23, 2022
Rocky Mount – February 23, 2022
Pembroke – February 24, 2022
Goldsboro – February 24, 2022
Elizabeth City – March 9, 2022
Hickory – March 10, 2022
Salisbury – March 16, 2022
Wadesboro – March 16, 2022
“These funds are a big opportunity for advancing transportation electrification and other alternative fuels across the state,” Brutz said. Brutz noted that settlement funds can be used to incentivize fleet transition to help reach new targets set by Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 246. The Order calls for an increase in registered ZEVs to at least 1,250,000 by 2030 and for 50% of sales of new vehicles in North Carolina to be zero-emission by 2030.
While developing the plan, the DEQ’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) sought input from North Carolinians across the state to determine how to allocate the funds over the duration of Phase 2. Phase 2 focuses will prioritize vehicle electrification projects. Public agencies, public and private non-profit organizations, as well as public/private partnerships are eligible for Phase 2 funding.
In Phase 2 of North Carolina’s VW Settlement Mitigation Plan, 80 percent of funds are allocated for the Diesel Bus & Vehicle Replacement Program and 15 percent of funds for the state’s Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Infrastructure Program. Through the Diesel Bus & Vehicle Replacement Program, 40 percent of Phase 2 funding will go towards replacing school buses, 20 percent of funding will be eligible for transit bus replacements and another 20 percent will be eligible for clean heavy-duty equipment and vehicle replacements.
The DEQ’s ZEV Infrastructure program was designed to expand the state’s ZEV charging infrastructure network along priority designated corridors. After receiving feedback from state agencies in Phase 1, the DEQ created a dedicated allocation for light-duty charging projects. The DEQ will also coordinate with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to determine optimal locations for installing EV charging stations for state fleet vehicles and attractions on state owned property.
BREAKDOWN OF VW SETTLEMENT FUNDS IN PHASE 2
DEQ is managing the VW settlement funds for Phase 2 through five programs:
Level 2 Multi-Unit Dwelling Program – Coming April 2022
Approximately $54.4 million in settlement funds will be available in Phase 2 for the Diesel Bus and Vehicle Program, which has been divided into three subprograms: School Bus, Transit and Shuttle Bus, and Clean Heavy-Duty Equipment and Vehicle Programs. The DEQ has released a program Request for Proposals (RFP) for the School Bus and Transit and Shuttle Bus Replacement Program for Phase 2, and the last program RFP will be released in April 2022.
The School Bus Program, which began accepting applications on March 7, 2022, will allocate $27.2 million in VW funds in Phase 2 of the program to assist interested parties to mitigate NOx emissions by replacing older diesel school buses. The DAQ is hosting an informational webinar for interested applicants and stakeholders on March 25, 2022 from 10 AM to 12 PM. During this webinar, DAQ staff will discuss the School Bus Program RFP and application requirements. Register for the webinar online.
In Phase 2 of the Transit and Shuttle Bus Program program, $13.5 million in Volkswagen funds are allocated to assist interested parties to mitigate NOx emissions by replacing older diesel transit and shuttle buses. Additionally, approximately $6 million has been allocated by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for electric buses in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program eligible counties.
The DAQ is currently accepting proposals for the DC Fast Program – Priority Corridors until May 16, 2022. This program is designed to continue the expansion of the state’s ZEV fast charging infrastructure network along priority designated corridors with the $4.9 million in VW allocated for Phase 2. The DC Fast Program – Existing Site Upgrades RFP to allocate the remaining $2.1 million Phase 2 ZEV Program funds will be released in April 2022 on the DEQ’s website.
The Level 2 Charging Program is divided into four separate programs designed to expand the state’s light duty ZEV charging infrastructure and network. $3 million in VW funds are allocated in phase 2 of the program. The DEQ released an RFP on February 28 for the Phase 2 Level 2 State Agency Program in which $1 million in funds have been allocated to install Level 2 electric vehicle charging infrastructure at state-maintained facilities and attractions. The DAQ is accepting applications for the Level 2 State Agency Program until May 31, 2022.
The DAQ also released the RFP for Public Access Level 2 Charging Infrastructure Program rebates under Phase 2 of the Volkswagen Mitigation plan. The RFP details how to apply for the $1,070,877 available to fund the installations of new publicly accessible light-duty ZEV Level 2 charging stations. Eligible, complete applications will be selected for funding on a first-come, first-served rebate process until funds are exhausted. Applications for the Level 2 Public Access Program will open in the GMS on May 2, 2022.
For updates about in-person and virtual information sessions as well as future RFPs and funding opportunities, you can visit the DEQ’s Phase 2 – VW Settlement website. If you would like to receive email updates about this topic, please send an email with the word Subscribe in the subject line to daq.NC_VWGrants@ncdenr.gov.
To assist EBCI in writing their grant, NCCETC staff provided emissions quantifications to examine the potential reduction in air pollution from the retirement of older polluting buses, and the deployment of new zero-emission electric school buses. NCCETC also assisted EBCI in teaming with Duke Energy, a crucial funding partner who is supporting this project in partial fulfillment of their Electric Transportation Pilot. Long-term, NCCETC will be providing ongoing technical support to EBCI and CBC’s transportation division, which operates the bus system for Cherokee Central Schools on the Qualla Boundary.
“We’re really excited to be able to support EBCI and CBC staff through the entire process of retiring the old diesel buses and getting the new electric buses onto the road,” said John Bonitz, Clean Transportation Specialist at NCCETC. “The EPA has a very detailed process for scrapping old buses that has to be completed within 90 days of receipt of the new buses – afterall, we all want to remove these polluting vehicles from the road permanently.”
NCCETC will guide EBCI and the CBC transportation division through the disabling and scrapping process and will assist in properly documenting the operation. Additionally, NCCETC will draft quarterly reports for the entire project period, quantifying the emissions reductions for the electric school buses and analyzing the total project cost effectiveness as well as gallons of diesel fuel saved.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have a long tradition of stewardship and the EBCI Natural Resources Department (ECBI NRD) is committed to protecting and preserving natural resources for generations to come. For example, for nearly a decade, the CBC has been making biodiesel from waste fryer oil and using that fuel to displace petroleum diesel. Since 2012 CBC’s school buses run on a B20 blend (20 percent biodiesel, 80 percent diesel) with their own locally made biodiesel. Also, the EBCI Air Quality Program (AQP) helps monitor air conditions in order to maintain clean and healthy air quality for EBCI lands and the surrounding area. The Cherokee Boys Club works with the EBCI AQP to achieve ambient air pollution reduction and environmental protection. As a rural community, mobile emissions from vehicles and buses are a major focus point for EBCI to help reduce the harmful impacts of diesel emissions. The primary contributor of NOx on EBCI lands are mobile sources (93 percent), according to EBCI NRD.
Another benefit from the replacement of old buses is the reduction of fine particulates from diesel exhaust that scatters sunlight and creates the haze that obscures mountain vistas on EBCI lands. “This improvement in visibility will help our tourism industry and increase our visitor experience,” explains EBCI NRD.
EBCI added its first electric bus to its fleet in 2021 after being awarded grant funds from the NC Department of Environmental Quality’s Diesel Bus and Vehicle Programs, which was a part of Phase 1 of the Volkswagen Mitigation Plan. EBCI was the first organization in North Carolina to receive an electric school bus from the state’s VW Mitigation Plan along with charging infrastructure to power the vehicle.
“Diesel school buses drive through every neighborhood, every week, to transport Cherokee Central School students,” Bonitz said. The four all-electric Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley buses funded by the grant have zero tailpipe emissions, and emissions reduced through the retirement of diesel buses in the EBCI communities will especially improve local air quality on neighborhood streets, heavily trafficked roads, and on school campuses.
On top of the harmful effects to public health caused by diesel exhaust, emissions from diesel engines also contribute to ground-level ozone, which damages crops, trees and other vegetation. DERA supports environmental justice by prioritizing emissions reductions in areas receiving disproportionate impacts from diesel fleets to provide an environment where all people enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards.
The DERA Program was originally created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which gave the EPA new grant and loan authority for promoting diesel emissions reductions. DERA was reauthorized in 2020 and includes up to $100 million annually in award grants and rebates to achieve diesel emissions reductions through 2024. According to the EPA, there are nearly ten million old diesel engines currently still in use in the United States that commit large amounts of carbon emissions, which contribute to serious public health problems, including asthma, lung disease and various other cardiac and respiratory diseases.
Electric buses have already shown lower operational costs throughout the country due to reduced fuel expenses, eliminated fluid changes, and fewer mechanical parts. School children, however, can benefit from the reduced noise and vibrations electric school buses cause, making the ride more pleasant for the whole community.
Last week, the NC Clean Energy Technology Center celebrated National Drive Electric Week 2019 with six events in Raleigh at NC State University, Winston-Salem at Wake Forest University, and Pittsboro, NC! Check out the photos from the events below.
NC State Football Tailgate & Expo (Photos by Nicole Deck)
Register for the Oct. 8 Concord event here, and register for the Oct. 9 Raleigh event here.
Executive Order 80 calls for the State of North Carolina to protect its environment while growing clean energy technologies. The order “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.”
Clean Transportation Demonstration Days support Executive Order 80 and give government entities across North Carolina information and experience with clean transportation technologies. The day will consist of classroom instruction with real-world case study results, hands-on product static review, networking, and a closed-course ride and drive for those who wish to participate.
Classroom instruction will include alternative fuel options, telematics and other new technologies, safety and more. There will be a diverse display of vehicles including a Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Bolt, Chrysler Pacifica, police vehicle and fire truck, Zero Motorcycle and more. Lunch will be provided.
*Note: The event is only open to government entities and utilities.
For any questions, contact Rick Sapienza at email@example.com or 919-515-2788 (office)/ 919-332-4510 (cell).
Register for the Oct. 8 Concord event here, and register for the Oct. 9 Raleigh event here.
We visited the University of North Carolina at Charlotte last year to talk to Chris Facente, Automotive and Motor Fleet Supervisor, about the university’s fleet of electric vehicles. Check out our video on it here.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has 115 electric vehicles on its campus, including Polaris GEMs and Nissan Leafs. Facente said they’d like their fleet to be 25 percent electric in about two years.
Electric vehicles are cheaper to run because they don’t require gas and require less maintenance – and they produce no harmful emissions.
It’s National Drive Electric Week! Are you interested in learning more about electric and hybrid vehicles?
Join the NC Clean Energy Technology Center for National Drive Electric Week at NC State University in Raleigh, September 19-21!
Electric Vehicle Car Show + Ride & Drive on Thursday, September 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Join us for a car show and ride & drive at Venture Plaza on NC State University’s Centennial campus. For this lunchtime event, there will be food trucks, static EVs and PHEVs to look at as well as test drive. If you are an owner, there will be room for up to 10 static vehicles for the static car show. Owners are also welcome to participate in the ride & drive portion of the event. For those who just want to visit and are not part of the Centennial Campus community, pay public parking is available in front of the Hunt Library. This is the same venue as the spring 2019 Earth Day event and will be a similar setup. Come on out have lunch and learn about driving on electricity!
Electric Vehicle Show & Tailgate on Saturday, September 21, time TBD: Join us for a tailgate and plug-in electric vehicle car show outside the Close-King Indoor practice facility at the corner of Westchase Boulevard and Peter Karmanos Jr. Drive, next to Carter-Finley Stadium. Come learn about electric, plug-in hybrid electric and hybrid electric vehicles, as well as register for a chance to win NC State University Football prizes!
*For game day on Saturday, due to the game day congestion and traffic, if you do not have tickets for the game or parking arrangements, it is not advised that you come visit the plug-in electric vehicle show.
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 theUS 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 RFPshere.
3. Duke Energy plans to invest $76 million to help spur EV adoption across the state, according toDuke 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 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.
EnergyWire recently featured an article “7 Takeaways From a Wild Year for EVs,” covering the biggest news related to electric vehicles in 2018. While electric vehicles are still mostly absent from showrooms, the article stated, signs of progress were apparent in many places last year. In the U.S., the 1 millionth EV was sold, and battery prices continued to drop.
The top 7 takeaways from 2018:
Tesla news: Despite controversy involving Elon Musk’s negative publicity, Tesla hit its 5,000-a-week goal in September, and the Model 3 is by far the top-selling pure-electric car in the US.
New EV pickup truck in the works: Rivian, an auto technology startup, is producing an all-electric pickup truck and SUV with a large amount of specs, including 400 miles on a charge, towing 11,000 pounds, and more. It is expected to arrive around year 2020 or later.
EV charging gets funding: Investment is coming from several quarters, including Volkswagen. Major utilities, seeing an opportunity to sell electrons, are also getting in on the act.
Policymakers and regulators get on board: Many policymakers around the country have made major transportation announcements, including Gov. Jerry Brown calling for California to add 5 million EVs by 2030.
“Invasion of the scooters”: Electric scooters have spread to dozens of cities and have been ridden millions of times, and the companies making them are now worth billions of dollars.
Heavy vehicles make progress: The falling cost of batteries and changing attitude toward carbon emissions and policy changes have moved up the timeline for electric buses and trucks. Dozens of school districts and transit districts also announced they are buying electric buses.
Incumbents step in: GM announced it would lay off thousands of workers, and one reason for it was to double its investment in electric and autonomous vehicles in the next two years. President Trump expressed negative opinions on electric vehicles, and a bill to kill the $7,500-per-vehicle EV tax credit was introduced.
Worldwide and in the United States, electric vehicles had a big year of news and changes – and the state of North Carolina was no exception.
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, according to EVadoption.com.
In August 2018, the US Department of Transportation announced that North Carolina’s City of Greensboro, the Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation Authority (GoTriangle), and Chapel Hill Transit were to be awarded a total of $4,225,000 in federal grants for its Low or No-Emission (Low-No) Bus Program Projects, which supports deployment of electric buses into their fleets.
In October 2018, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 80, which calls for the State of North Carolina to protect its environment while growing clean energy technologies. Cooper called for the number of zero-emission vehicles (“ZEVs”) to grow at least 80,000 by year 2025, according to a press release from Gov. Cooper.
Also in 2018, NCCETC unveiled new EV policy research tools with DSIRE Insight, which provides research and analysis services to energy industry professionals. These reports provide concise, useful information concerning state legislative and regulatory developments, along with actions on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. The series of quarterly reports is available by subscription here.
Save the date for the 3rd annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference, August 7 & 8, 2019 in Durham, NC! The conference provides an opportunity for fleets and transportation professionals to experience the latest vehicle technology, tools, and resources designed to increase efficiency and reduce emissions. The event will include keynote presentations, 50+ panelists, breakout sessions, indoor vehicle/equipment display, and plenty of networking opportunities. Pre-conference events will take place August 6, which will include the Green Fleet Awards Forum along with the NC Smart Fleet and Mobile Care Awards!
Who should attend? Public & Private Fleet Managers
State Government Leaders
Municipal Government Officials
Clean Cities Coalitions & Stakeholders
Alternative Fuel Trade Organizations
Academic Leaders & Researchers
Attendees can learn & share about: Alternative Fuels (including biofuels, CNG, electric, propane, renewable diesel)
Advanced Vehicle Technologies
Motor Fleet Management
Vehicle Sharing Technologies
Vehicle Right Sizing
Autonomous Vehicles & Future Technologies
Stay tuned for more updates! For more information, visit the website, and contact Allison Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-515-9781 for any questions.