Last month, SACE participated in the Workplace Electric Vehicles (EV) Workshop, co-hosted by Advanced Energy and Land and Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition. This event was hosted at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Mills River, NC, which has incorporated solar energy into their parking lot design, has several EV charging stations close to the entrance and recently earned platinum LEED status for their energy efficiency and sustainability on site.
The workshop featured introductory information on the differences between all-electric plug ins and hybrid vehicles, which still have gasoline on reserve to supplement running the car on batteries charged by electricity. Information on the availability of electric and hybrid vehicles available for purchase in North Carolina were also provided.
According to current registration data, EV purchases in North Carolina are steadily increasing. As the maps shows, the population centers in NC – Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte – have the highest number of EVs. Surprisingly, Asheville, an area with an estimated 330,000 in population, had similar EV stats as cities with much bigger populations.
Benefits of EVs
During the presentations, Advanced Energy also touted the multiple benefits of driving electric vehicles: fuel savings, performance, air quality (i.e. clean air) and energy security. These benefits are important to acknowledge because they appeal to a broad audience, not just people who want to save the planet. EVs also offer significant economic benefits. In fact, according to a recent study, EVs and incentives for EVs can significantly boost North Carolina’s GDP. By recognizing all of these benefits, we expect that we will see more of them on our roads.
Importance of charging infrastructure
Charging infrastructure is also critically important for increasing EV adoption in the state. EV drivers need the confidence that they can travel long distances and make it to their destinations without running out of charge. This is especially important in rural areas between big population centers. North Carolina is a big state with large swaths of rural countryside but as the map above shows, we have come along way with meeting the needs for EV drivers who want to drive from the mountains to the sea. Here are some helpful resources available for EV drivers who are looking to charge up in NC: Plug-In NC, Plug Share and Department of Energy’s Alternative Fueling Locator.
SACE is committed to continuing our advocacy and support for clean fuels and electric vehicles. To learn more about our work, visit cleanenergy.org.