Because of progress in the electric sector, the transportation sector is now the largest source of carbon emissions. Growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) charged by an increasingly green grid will inevitably lower carbon emissions.
It's a major reason Duke Energy has introduced comprehensive initiatives to embrace and encourage the transition to greater electrification – paving the way for more EVs on the highways.
Starting inside the company, Duke Energy has committed to electrifying its own fleet. The company has pledged to convert 100 percent of its nearly 4,000 light-duty vehicles and 50 percent of about 6,000 combined fleet of medium-duty, heavy-duty and off-road vehicles to EVs, plug-in hybrids or other zero-carbon alternatives by 2030.
In addition to expanding charging at company facilities to support the fleet electrification goal, Duke Energy is also installing workplace chargers at all work locations to enable employees to drive electric.
In Florida, the company's Park and Plug pilot has installed more than 570 EV public charging stations throughout the state. To date, drivers have used the Park and Plug network for over 60,000 charging sessions, displacing more than 90,000 gallons of gasoline.
In early 2021, Duke Energy Florida filed a settlement, which includes permanent programs that will deploy charging stations across the state.
Major regulatory hurdles were cleared last year as pilot programs were approved in both North Carolina and South Carolina.
In North Carolina, a $25 million pilot program will lead to the installation of 200 public Level 2 and fast charging stations, additional stations at multifamily buildings and a school bus electrification pilot that will allow school districts to change out diesel buses with electric ones.
In South Carolina, the company will provide up to a total of $1,000 for 400 residential Duke Energy Carolinas customers who install a Level 2 charging station, provide access to their charging data, and manage EV charging load to occur during off-peak periods. The company will also deploy 60 fast chargers there to expand access to fast charging infrastructure in the state.
Another pilot program is awaiting regulatory action in Ohio.
In early 2021, Duke Energy announced a major step to help large businesses and municipalities with all the planning, financing, acquisition and deployment services to electrify their fleets. The company, eTransEnergy LLC, a new, wholly owned subsidiary, will provide unregulated services to assist school districts, transit services and companies across the country achieve their economic and sustainability goals as they transition to clean energy transportation options.
Duke Energy is also excited to have joined the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) as a founding member. ZETA is the first industry-backed coalition of its kind advocating for 100 percent of vehicles sold by 2030 to be EVs.