Plug-in NC is working to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in North Carolina.
The Raleigh-based, statewide program was established in 2011. It encourages electric driving through education initiatives and raising awareness on the many benefits associated with transitioning to electric vehicles. From the scenic Appalachian Mountains in western North Carolina to the white, sandy beaches in the east, Plug-in strives to ensure clean air for residents all over the state for generations to come.
“Plug-in NC has been working since 2011 to establish North Carolina as a leader in electric transportation,” the program notes on its site. “We are a statewide program that promotes electric driving through education and outreach, consulting, and resource development. We also strive to provide a collaborative opportunity for stakeholders to work together to ensure a seamless integration of electric vehicles into our local communities.”
The organization’s activities are led by its Steering Committee – a board of EV field leaders and experts who help the group “stay up to date on electric vehicle happenings across the state and helps [it] reach out to communities and individuals from the mountains to the sea.” These include representatives from agencies like the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, as well as representatives from EV charger companies like ChargePoint, EVgo, and utility Dominion Energy.
The initiative’s site is home to many valuable resources for EV drivers and prospective EV owners such as information about at-home charging and the benefits of going electric.
Plug-in NC offers free memberships for businesses, schools, communities, and other North Carolina organizations that have “installed charging stations, purchased electric fleet vehicles or provided education and outreach to promote driving electric.” The perks of membership include being featured on the Plug-in site and their corresponding social media channels, the opportunity to connect with other state EV adoption leaders, and invites to Plug-in NC summits.
The program also welcomes individuals who are passionate about EVs to become Plug-in NC ambassadors and promote driving electric across the Old North State. Ambassador’s responsibilities include giving presentations, volunteering at events, writing blog posts, aiding in member and ambassador recruitment, and displaying their EVs at events.
As Plug-in continues to push for widespread electrification in North Carolina, the nationwide outlook for renewables and EVs is increasingly promising. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 not only provided COVID-19 stimulus relief and funded the government for the fiscal year 2021, but it also brought with it real bipartisan support for innovative renewable energy and pro-environment policy in the US. The legislation allocated more than $35 billion toward clean energy technology development, headed largely through Department of Energy programs.
The Energy Act of 2020 – located within the legislation – contains the energy policy updates. The document reinstates the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act – an Environmental Protection Agency initiative to limit emissions from diesel engines.
The Act’s Grid Modernization title “creates programs for research and development into integrating renewable energy and electric vehicles onto the electric grid,” according to the law firm Sidley Austin LLP.
As the Washington Post reports, the energy package includes “roughly $4 billion for solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal research and development; $1.7 billion to help low-income families install renewable energy sources in their homes; $2.6 billion for the Energy Department’s sustainable transportation program; and $500 million for research on reducing industrial emissions.”