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NCDOT seeks public comment on draft plan to boost electric vehicle registrations

Electric vehicle charging stations are available at Nash Square in downtown Raleigh. Could Ocracoke be a site for one of these? Photo courtesy of NCDOT

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RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation is seeking public comments on a draft N.C. Zero-Emission Vehicle Plan the agency is developing to boost the number of electric vehicles on the road. People can review the plan and provide feedback on this NCDOT webpage until 5 p.m. Sept. 6.

The draft plan is the result of Gov. Roy Cooper last fall issuing Executive Order No. 80, which is a commitment to address climate change and transition to a clean energy economy.

The governor’s order called upon the NCDOT to develop a N.C. Zero-Emission Vehicle Plan to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles registered in this state to 80,000 by 2025. When the order was signed, more than 6,000 fully electric vehicles were registered in North Carolina.

Zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) are fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Depending upon the specific technology, these vehicles have no or significantly reduced tailpipe emissions compared with conventional vehicles.

“DOT has created this draft plan with clear and measurable strategies, in order for our state to lead the nation in embracing zero-emission technologies,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon. 

NCDOT’s plan, released today, summarizes the research the department has done and the public input from online surveys and workshops it has received since January. It also highlights important issues and action areas for achieving 80,000 registered, zero-emission vehicles by 2025. One example is how to increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations along major routes and at retail centers.

“We’ve been studying some important issues that will need to be addressed under the governor’s executive order,” said Colin Mellor, an NCDOT environmental policy analyst helping coordinate the department’s ZEV plan. “We need the public and other stakeholders to confirm we have heard their points of view, and to let us know if there are any other issues we should consider as we finalize the plan.”

The plan highlights four categories of activities the state will need to pursue to comply with the governor’s executive order. Those categories are:

  • Promoting public awareness and education about electric vehicles;
     
  • Enhancing the convenience of operating and recharging a ZEV;
  • Reducing the upfront costs of a ZEV; and
  • Considering policy changes that promote the use of electric vehicles.

The final plan will be submitted to the governor at the North Carolina Climate Change Interagency Council meeting on Sept. 27.