Duke Energy is preparing for widespread Plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) adoption by collaborating with customers, car manufacturers, technology developers and others. Our goal is to keep energy prices affordable, and to ensure that the power grid remains safe and reliable, as more and more customers purchase electric cars. One thing we have done to help achieve these goals is the Charge|Carolinas pilot in North and South Carolina. Each of the 150 participants in the pilot received a 240-volt, Level 2 charging station and installation of that charging station up to $1,000. When the pilot ends, participants can keep the charging station for a small fee. Duke Energy will remotely access usage information from the charging stations to better understand collective charging habits and the impact on the power grid. This way we can better prepare for increased use in the future.
As Project Manager of the pilot I have had the pleasure of speaking with many of the participants. I certainly wasn’t prepared for the level of passion for these cars that some of our customers have shown. One customer, the first to join our Pilot, drove out of state to get his Volt just so that he could be a proud owner months before Volts were actually available in North or South Carolina. Another customer, who is clearly a technical genius and protector of the environment, has built a remarkable home energy management system complete with solar cells, to save power and manage his load.
For PEV owners who were unable to get into the pilot before we reached the 150 car quota, please stay tuned to find out more about Duke Energy’s electric vehicle program in the months to come.