On Thursday, Feb. 24th Centralina Regional Council (Centralina), along with project partners UNC Charlotte, the City of Charlotte and Duke Energy, unveiled the PoleVolt electric vehicle (EV) charging station at the Ritz at Washington Heights in Charlotte’s Historic West End neighborhood. The one-year pilot project is the culmination of a three-year collaboration between government, business, research and community.
Governor Cooper remarked, “Our state is moving toward an equitable clean energy economy and public-private partnerships like this one will help make that happen.” The project falls under his Executive Order 246 initiative aimed at creating a more environmentally friendly and resilient transportation system.
The station is the first of its kind in North Carolina and utilizes power from an existing utility pole to provide community charging to residents without access to in-home charging, opening the doors for residents to take advantage of lower maintenance, fuel efficient EVs. By using existing electrical infrastructure, PoleVolt also eliminates the need for drilling and cuts installation costs by almost half compared to traditional charging stations.
How Did Centralina Help?
Centralina is home to the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program for our region – the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition. The Coalition has been working for decades to increase our region’s use of alternative fuels, improve air quality and reduce impacts of climate change. “The Centralina region will be a model for EV planning and deployment because of these types of innovative partnerships,” said Centralina Executive Director Geraldine Gardner. “We are already ahead of the curve when it comes to preparing our region for the electric vehicle transition because of the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition. With the opportunities coming through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are ready to engage all of our communities – urban, suburban and rural – to move from ideas to action.”
Centralina works with local governments to find sustainability, equity and resiliency opportunities for our region. “When we talk about regionalism, [Centralina] is leading the way, in transportation and clean fuels,” said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. Throughout the PoleVolt project, Centralina served as a neutral party, helping to convene key stakeholders, navigate ordinances and identify important EV charging infrastructure learnings that can be leveraged by other local governments.
Centralina plans to use best practices from this station to help pave the way for the deployment of additional EV charging stations in Charlotte and other communities. Their recent work on developing EV charging corridors for the state will provide the basis for upcoming charging EV infrastructure funding under the Infrastructure Bill. “North Carolina has to be ready. We have to make sure that the EV infrastructure is all across our state, said Governor Cooper. “The quicker we do that, the more affordable these EVs will be for everyday North Carolinians.” Read more on the Governor’s website: Governor Cooper Highlights North Carolina’s Transition to Clean Transportation, Tours First-of-its-Kind Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Charlotte.an