Plug-in NC: Driving Electric from the Mountains to the Sea

By Jonathan Susser | April 21, 2017

We at Advanced Energy have been supporting electric transportation for over 30 years, but one of our biggest milestones was the 2011 formation of Plug-in NC, a statewide program that promotes electric vehicles (EVs) throughout North Carolina.

Originating as the North Carolina Plug-in Electric Vehicle Taskforce, Plug-in NC resulted from a collaboration between the government, industry, electric utilities and nonprofits. Today, its primary roles are to spread awareness about EVs, reduce barriers to adoption and help integrate the technology into our communities. With the 2010 reintroduction of EVs in the U.S., Plug-in NC has become the go-to source for EV information in North Carolina and has helped make the state a leader in electric transportation.

Plug-in NC is a collaborative program. A steering committee consisting of players from throughout North Carolina’s EV industry helps plan and organize activities, and individuals and larger groups can join the program to show their support for driving electric and connect with others. Plug-in NC Members are businesses, organizations, schools and communities that have demonstrated a commitment to EVs by installing charging stations, adding electric fleet vehicles or educating the community about electric transportation. Plug-in NC Ambassadors are individuals who are passionate about EVs. They support Plug-in NC by volunteering at events, giving presentations, writing blog posts and getting the word out.

The bulk of Plug-in NC’s work focuses on outreach and education to help EVs reach a broader audience. Workshops and presentations share lessons learned and best practices about EV basics, workplace charging, electric utility strategies and more. Ride-and-drive events attract individuals from around the community and allow prospective buyers to chat with owners and get behind the wheel of an EV themselves. At the same time, Plug-in NC participates in externally organized events across North Carolina, such as Earth Day celebrations and National Drive Electric Week.

Plug-in NC also promotes EV education by developing tools and resources. These efforts, which have produced webinars, toolkits and how-to guides, are another way to get people up to speed with electric transportation.

Two recent and ongoing initiatives that Plug-in NC is assisting with are the Volkswagen Settlement and North Carolina’s Executive Order No. 80, which spurred the creation of the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Plan. These developments will greatly support EV growth in our state, and Plug-in NC is excited to be contributing to their success.

Plug-in NC is energized about the future of EVs in North Carolina and is always looking to expand its efforts. If you or someone you know might be interested in joining, don’t hesitate to reach out. And to stay up to date on events and general EV news, follow Plug-in NC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.