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What is an Electric Vehicle?

An electric vehicle uses electricity stored in a battery to move the wheels. Examples include extended-range electric vehicles (EREV), such as the Chevrolet Volt; and all-electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf. See a technology comparison here.

When are these vehicles coming to our area and how much will they cost?

There are a variety of electric vehicles currently on the market, with many more planned for introduction in the coming years. You can find more details about what different manufactures offer at GoElectricDrive.com. For pricing and the most current information about a particular EV, please check with your local dealer.

I'm thinking about buying an electric vehicle. Which vehicle should I buy?

To learn more about what kind of car is right for you, please check out the Choosing your PEV page.

Do I need a charging station too?

Most vehicles can charge on a standard 120-volt outlet, so you will not need to do anything differently before you can enjoy your electric vehicle. However, some customers may consider installing a Level 2 charging station, which can shorten charging times significantly. Level 2 charging stations generally require 240-volt capacity – similar to an air conditioner or clothes dryer – so you will need to consult a licensed electrician for questions about your home's electrical needs.

Different jurisdictions may have different requirements or processes regarding the permitting, installation and inspection of charging stations. The permitting office with jurisdiction over the installation site should be contacted to identify specific requirements.

Does Duke Energy offer incentives or special rates for electric vehicles?

Duke Energy does not currently offer incentives for customers who have purchased an electric vehicle. We are studying the technologies and their potential impacts on the power grid to determine what programs and incentives are needed, if any, to ensure a safe and positive experience for our customers.

Duke Energy does not offer a PEV-specific electric rate at this time. However, depending on which state you live in, Duke Energy offers a “whole house” Time of Use rate that you might be interested in to help lower your electric bill. Please contact Customer Service to learn more about these rates.

Now that the merger has gone through, may Progress Energy customers participate in any programs Duke Energy has?

Although we have officially merged the two parent companies, we will continue to operate our PEV customer programs separately. We will use what we learn from these programs to develop future products and services that meet our customers’ vehicle charging needs.

How long will it take to charge my electric vehicle?

It all depends on the type of vehicle you own, your driving habits, how much energy is stored in the battery and what type of charging system you have in place. Current research suggests that most drivers will simply "plug in" when they get home. On a typical 40 mile/day commute, it would take about 9-12 hours on a Level 1 charging station and 2-4 hours on a Level 2 charging station.

How much will it cost to charge an electric vehicle? Will my electricity bill go up?

The cost associated with charging electric vehicles generally depends on the size of the battery and how much electricity you use. For customers who drive less than 40 miles a day, at $0.11 per kilowatt-hour (the national average), it should cost less than $1.32 a day to fuel an electric vehicle. If gasoline costs $3.50 per gallon, the cost per mile of a standard car ranges from $0.11 to $0.27, where the cost per mile for an electric vehicle is $0.02 to $0.04.

So, yes, your electric bill will go up, but your monthly gasoline expenses should drop considerably more.

Will there be public charging stations in my area?

Many local governments and organizations are working to install charging stations in public spaces. Please visit the U.S. Department of Energy or Google Maps to find a public charging station near you.

Are the batteries in electric vehicles safe?

Yes. All plug-in electric vehicles and associated batteries are tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under extreme operating conditions to achieve the same high safety standards as conventional vehicles. The NHTSA stated in January 2012: "Based on the available data, NHTSA does not believe that…electric vehicles pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles."

Is Duke Energy offering any customer programs?

Yes, but not in every state in which we operate:

Duke Energy Territories

Indiana:

  • Project Plug-IN is a collaborative project with ESN, IPL, Think Automotive, MISO, Purdue and other Indiana companies to promote the advancement of EV technology and adoption. Enrollment for the pilot is officially closed, but you can learn more about it here

North Carolina and South Carolina:

  • We are partnering with 150 residential customers, to learn more about the impacts PEVs will have on our grid. Enrollment for our Charge | Carolinas pilot is officially closed, but you can learn more about it here

Duke Energy Progress Territories

North Carolina and South Carolina:

  • Plugged-In Program – We are partnering with residential and commercial customers to learn more about the impacts PEVs will have on our grid. Enrollment for our Plugged-In Program is officially closed, but you can learn more about the program here

For Commercial Customers

I am interested in adding charging stations to my facility. Who should I contact about adding this load?

Contact your Duke Energy Account Manager. If you do not have an account manager, please visit our Business & Industry page to request additional service.

Are there any PEV pilots for commercial customers?

We are collaborating with a number of industry partners in Indiana through our Project Plug-IN pilot, but it has reached capacity for commercial customers. You may sign up here to stay up-to-date on Duke Energy’s work with PEVs, including potential future programs in your area.

I would like to learn more about electric vehicle programs that may become available to Duke Energy’s business customers.

Duke Energy is continually researching electric vehicles and charging stations, and how they can benefit our customers. Please send us your information to Plugin@Duke-Energy.com, and we will let you know as we develop programs with our business customers.

If you have other questions, please contact us at Plugin@Duke-Energy.com or 800-979-9145. We will work to answer your questions promptly.