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

By Jonathan Susser | April 21, 2017

Advanced Energy has been supporting electric transportation for over 20 years, but a big milestone was the formation of our Plug-in NC program in 2011. Plug-in NC is a statewide program that promotes electric vehicles (EVs) throughout North Carolina. Originating as the North Carolina Plug-in Electric Vehicle Taskforce, Plug-in NC was the result of a collaboration between the government, industry, electric utilities and nonprofits. Today, its primary roles are to spread awareness and education about EVs, reduce barriers to adoption and conduct research to help integrate them into our local communities. With the 2011 reintroduction of EVs into the United States, 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.The bulk of Plug-in NC’s work has focused on outreach and education to help EVs reach a broader audience. To facilitate this goal, a steering committee plans and organizes activities and connects with communities across the state. This committee consists of individuals from a variety of organizations throughout North Carolina.

Plug-in NC’s outreach activities take on various forms. Workshops share lessons learned and best practices with audiences across the state and cover topics ranging from EV basics to residential and workplace charging to electric utility strategies. Ride-and-drive events provide a more hands-on experience, allowing people to sit behind the wheel of an EV and test one for themselves. These events bring in individuals from around the community and employees from local businesses, governments and schools. Plug-in NC also plans, contributes to and participates in other externally organized events across North Carolina, such as Earth Day celebrations and National Drive Electric Week. Another side of the education that Plug-in NC offers comes in the form of developed resources and tools to get people up to speed with EVs. These resources include webinars, toolkits and how-to guides.

Two recent initiatives that Plug-in NC is helping navigate are Duke Energy’s EV Charging Infrastructure Project and the Volkswagen Settlement’s Environmental Mitigation Trust and Electrify America funds. These developments have the potential to make a huge impact on the growth of EVs and charging infrastructure in North Carolina, and Plug-in NC is working to contribute to their success.

Individuals and larger groups can join Plug-in NC to show their support for driving electric and connect with others with a similar mission. 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 generally increasing awareness.

Plug-in NC is excited about the future of EVs in North Carolina and is committed to supporting them for years to come. Plug-in NC is always looking to grow and expand its reach, so if you or anyone you know might be interested in joining, do not hesitate to reach out. To stay up to date on events and general EV news, follow Plug-in NC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.