As new electric vehicles (EV) enter the market and strong sales growth continues nationwide, Duke Energy has proposed an electric transportation (ET) pilot program that will allow South Carolina to join other states in deploying EV infrastructure to meet the needs of this growing market.
“Electric vehicles are coming to South Carolina, but more investment is needed to grow the adoption of this evolving technology and the benefits it brings to the state,” said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy’s South Carolina president. “We must prepare for this by providing for and better understanding the electrical needs of this growing population.”
The proposed $10 million pilot consists of four programs designed to research and better understand the effects of increasing adoption of electric transportation on Duke Energy’s electric system, the behavior of customers and the potential financial and environmental benefits to the state of South Carolina. They include:
- Residential EV Charging Program
This program will provide a rebate and ongoing quarterly participation payments for up to 400 residential customers installing qualifying Level II charging equipment in exchange for utility management of home charging during defined hours. A Level II EVSE allows customers to charge their EVs up to six times faster than a standard 120 volt wall outlet.
- EV School Bus Charging Station Program
This program is designed to facilitate the replacement of older diesel school buses with modern, clean, zero-emission electric school buses, reducing operating costs and eliminating harmful diesel emissions from the daily commutes of school children in South Carolina. Duke Energy will provide financial support for the purchase of about 30 electric school buses. In addition to studying the charging characteristics and usage patterns of electric school buses, this program will test bidirectional power flow abilities of electric school buses and the potential to use their batteries during times of high electric demand or during disaster recovery.
- EV Transit Bus Charging Station Program
Duke Energy will provide financial support to eligible transit agency customers electing to procure electric transit buses for up to 30 electric transit bus charging stations. Electric transit buses also eliminate diesel emissions and reduce fuel and maintenance costs for transit agencies.
- DC Fast Charging Station Program
Duke Energy will install, own and operate up to 30 DC Fast Charging (“DCFC”) installations across its South Carolina territory to provide a foundational level of infrastructure and facilitate EV market growth.
“Lack of charging stations is commonly cited as a barrier to purchasing an EV,” said Lang Reynolds, Duke Energy’s manager for electric transportation initiatives. “That’s why our proposed pilot programs are designed to install a foundational level of fast charge infrastructure and better understand the effects of increasing adoption of electric transportation.”
The estimated cost of the pilot is about $10.4 million over the proposed initial three years of the programs. The pilot must be approved by the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC) before it can be offered to customers.