Durham was recently ranked No. 36 on LawnStarter’s list of the nation’s 200 Best Cities to Own An Electric Car. Criteria for the study include average commute times, parking rates, electricity costs + access to chargers. Raleigh (No. 61), Cary (No. 64), Fayetteville (No. 70), Greensboro (No. 80), and Charlotte (No. 83) also made the top 100.
As the EV industry shows no signs of slowing, our NC cities have begun implementing the necessary infrastructure to accommodate drivers, including Raleigh, Durham, and Cary’s combined 458 charging stations (find one here).
In 2020 — responding to concerns about the distance between chargers — NC approved a $25 million pilot program through Duke Energy, which will install 200 fast-charging stations across the state. Researchers at NC State have developed new technology that could charge EVs with 60% less energy waste. The state even made a bid for Tesla’s newest manufacturing facility.
Needless to say, EVs are top of mind in the automotive industry. In the last decade, electric vehicles — i.e. cars that are powered by a battery and electric motors, rather than gasoline — have soared in popularity across the globe + research suggests that more than 60% of prospective car buyers across all demographics have interest in electric cars.
So what sort of continued infrastructure does NC need to support the growing market?
🚘 More EV laws and incentives. These currently include exemptions from vehicle and emissions inspection requirements, use of NC HOV lanes (regardless of the number of occupants), utility rate reductions, and parking incentives.
🚘 Reduced registration fees. In 2019, the NC Legislature considered bills in both the House and the Senate that would raise registration fees for electric vehicles, in an attempt to recoup gas taxes lost by the state. Opponents of these bills say increased fees discourage the purchase of EVs, which typically have a higher price tag already.
🚘 More chargers per capita. It’s not enough for our big cities to be outfitted with ample charging stations — drivers want to be confident that they can drive out of town or across the state and not run out of fuel. This means incorporating more stations along highways and interstates + at rural service stations.