Plugging in from the Mountains to the Sea is a project led by the Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG) and the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition to support community and statewide planning for plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) and charging infrastructure. It was funded through a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and $114,000 in additional matching funds. This was a one-year project beginning in the fall of 2011 and concluding in fall 2012.

The project established regional PEV readiness plans and via a statewide task force, a PEV readiness “roadmap” for North Carolina. These efforts strengthened existing local and regional initiatives in North Carolina communities and coordinated efforts across the state. The plans help communities address their specific needs, which include updating permitting processes, revising codes, training municipal personnel, promoting public awareness or developing incentives.

Four regions– Asheville, Charlotte, the Triad and the Triangle – created individual stakeholder groups and developed regional plans addressing specific steps needed to prepare their communities for PEVs.

Background

Since its inception in 1993, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Clean Cities and its stakeholders have decreased the equivalent use of more than 3 billion gallons of conventional fuel. Their overall goal is to reduce U.S. petroleum use by 2.5 billion gallons per year by 2020, and a key initiative for success is the integration of electric transportation.

In an effort to increase awareness and actual consumer usage, as well as to help communities develop the infrastructure needed to support the expected influx of electric vehicles, the DOE announced awards for 16 electric vehicle community readiness projects. These projects will support activity in 24 states, focusing on community planning for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and charging infrastructure.

Depending on the needs of the location, activities may include updating permitting processes, revising codes, training emergency personnel, educating the public and developing incentives. All awardees are required to create a public plan.