NC Gov. visits electric vehicle charging station

This comes after the Biden Administration allotted $5 billion in federal funds to build electric vehicle infrastructure.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles unveiled a first-of-its-kind electric vehicle charging station in Charlotte Thursday.

During his visit to the Queen City, Cooper toured PoleVolt, the new charging station that was created by a partnership between the City of Charlotte, Duke Energy, Centralina Regional Council and UNC Charlotte. The station uses existing streetlights to provide free curbside charging for electric vehicles and expands access to charging infrastructure for people who do not have access to off-street parking. 

“The transition by vehicle manufacturers to electric is upon us and this station is just one example of how North Carolina is getting ready,” Cooper said. “The quicker we move, the more affordable electric vehicles will become for everyday people.” 

You can stream WCNC Charlotte on Roku and Amazon Fire TV, just download the free app.

North Carolina currently has 1,542 miles of EV corridors, which are sections of roads with planned or actively available charging stations. Among those roads, are Interstate 85 through much of the Charlotte metro area. With additional discretionary funding provided under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, North Carolina will have the opportunity to significantly expand EV chargers throughout the state.

“PoleVolt allows us to look at new innovation through the lens of equity,” Lyles said. “This new station is an example of the city’s commitment to both sustainability and to the residents in our vital corridors of opportunity, areas of our city that have been under-represented in the past.”

RELATED: LIST: South Carolina gets $21 million for 5 infrastructure water projects

Charlotte’s newest charging station will be at The Ritz at Washington Heights, a small community park in west Charlotte. It joins more than 1,440 chargers across North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

In 2019, nearly 10,000 all-electric cars were registered in the state. By the end of 2021, that number had surpassed 35,000.

Gov. Cooper said his clean air plan for the state will improve air quality in lower-income neighborhoods. 

“For too long, we’ve left behind underserved communities, communities of color, and we need to make sure our actions in the climate arena take of all that into account,” he said. 

EV owner Jeff Montgomery said he’s happy to see the expansion of charging stations. 

“The more the better,” Montgomery said. “The more people see this, I think the more people will be relaxed about getting them because they have the security of, ‘Well, if I do run out of charge there’s a place to charge.’ They’re not going to, but again, bring just peace of mind.”

He said the reason for going electric boils down to economics. 

“The price of electricity doesn’t fluctuate like it does with gas,” Montgomery said. “And it’s actually much, much cheaper. It cost me about $30-$40 a month to drive 1,000 to 1,100 miles on an EV versus a gas car, not what I’m hearing on the other. Cost much more to run.”

EV owners could be eligible to get up to a $7,500 tax credit. NCEV owners do have to pay a $130 yearly surcharge since don’t pay a gas tax.

Cities are also looking to expand their fleet of energy-efficient, climate-friendly vehicles.

The cities of Greensboro and Asheville are currently operating fully electric buses in their transit fleets. Chapel Hill Transit and GoRaleigh also have electric buses in service.

RELATED: NC eligible to receive up to $109 million for electric car charging stations

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

Listen to free podcasts from WCNC Charlotte

All of WCNC Charlotte’s podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere.

Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
SUBSCRIBEApple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || Google Podcasts 

Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte
SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts