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Duke Energy proposes electric vehicle program

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Duke Energy has proposed an electric transportation pilot program to deploy electric vehicle infrastructure in a growing market.

The estimated cost of the pilot program is about $10.4 million over the proposed initial three years. The program must be approved by the S.C. Public Service Commission, according to a news release.

"Electric vehicles are coming to South Carolina, but more investment is needed to grow the adoption of this evolving technology and the benefits it brings to the state," Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy's S.C. president, said in the release. "We must prepare for this by providing for and better understanding the electrical needs of this growing population."

The proposed pilot program consists of four areas designed to research and better understand the effects of increasing adoption of electric transportation on Duke Energy's electric system, as well as the behavior of customers and the potential financial and environmental benefits to the state, the release said. They include:

Residential EV charging program

This program will provide a rebate and ongoing quarterly participation payments for up to 400 residential customers installing qualifying Level II charging equipment in exchange for utility management of home charging during defined hours. A Level II charger allows customers to charge their vehicles up to six times faster than a standard, 120-volt wall outlet.

EV school bus charging station program

This program is designed to facilitate the replacement of older diesel school buses with zero-emission electric school buses, reducing operating costs and eliminating diesel emissions. Duke Energy will provide financial support for the purchase of about 30 electric school buses. In addition to studying the charging characteristics and usage patterns of electric school buses, this program will test bidirectional power flow abilities of electric school buses and the potential to use their batteries during times of high electricity demand or during disaster recovery.

EV transit bus charging station program

Duke Energy will provide financial support to eligible transit agency customers electing to procure electric transit buses for up to 30 electric transit bus charging stations. Electric transit buses also eliminate diesel emissions and reduce fuel and maintenance costs for transit agencies.

DC fast charging station program

Duke Energy will install, own and operate up to 30 DC fast charging installations across its S.C. territory to provide infrastructure and facilitate EV market growth.

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