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Duke Energy pushes for electric vehicle use, infrastructure

Staff Report //September 10, 2020//

Duke Energy pushes for electric vehicle use, infrastructure

Staff Report //September 10, 2020//

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Duke Energy will be going electric.

As part of the company’s efforts to cut carbon emissions, Duke has applied through state public service commissions to pilot “Park and Plug” electric car charging installation initiatives in the Carolinas and Ohio.

Pending commission approval for the three states, the program would add 5,700 electric vehicle chargers to Duke Energy’s service areas; 2,200 of which will be for residential use, according to a news release.

Through Duke Energy’s Park and Plug program in Florida, the utility company has installed 500 charging stations which have been used 13,000 times since the beginning of the 2018 launch.

The company also plans to convert 100% of the 10,000 light-duty vehicles in its fleet to electricity, along with 50% of its medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The company also plans to convert off-road vehicles to electric, plug-in hybrid or other carbon-free power sources in 10 years.

Roughly 600 electric vehicles are already driven in the company’s fleet, according to the release, and are expected to not only reduce emissions and noise but also boost performance and cost effectiveness. Conversion of the fleet is expected to cut carbon emissions by 60,000 metric tons per year and petroleum by 10 million gallons per year, as well as reduce nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and other emissions.

"We've set a bold vision to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from electric generation by 2050,” Duke Energy President and CEO Lynn Good said in the release. “But beyond how we generate power, we're looking at other ways to transform our business to reduce emissions. Electric vehicles are an important part of that strategy. With our new pledge, we're committed to transitioning our fleet and spurring adoption within our communities."