Duke Energy has given two grants to assist Triangle area transit agencies fund charging stations for electric busses, which are being integrated into the agencies.
The grants total $300,000. One grant was awarded to GoRaleigh for $200,000 to assist in installing five charging stations. The other was awarded to GoTriangle for $100,000 to install two charging stations for two electric busses that are expected by the end of the year.
“We’re pleased our grants can help transit agencies in the Triangle area transition to cleaner bus fleets that help the environment,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president, in a news story released by Duke Energy.
“We greatly appreciate Duke Energy’s investment in our electric-bus efforts,” said Shelley Blake Curran, GoTriangle’s interim CEO and president, as quoted in the article. “As we improve and increase our services that better connect all points of the Triangle every year, we are excited to be exploring ways to better protect the environment, too.”
GoTriangle operates through Wake, Durham and Orange counties, averaging more than 6,000 boardings a day on 69 busses.
GoRaleigh operated 84 busses through the city of Raleigh. The service covers a territory of 144 square miles using 84 busses, serving around 17,000 passengers every day.
GoRaleigh intents to buy five new electric busses and five charging stations, to assist in changing its diesel fleet to more economical busses. The company is investing in natural gas and electricity fueled vehicles, which are less expensive to operate and produce less emissions than a diesel bus.
Duke Energy has increased charging stations for electric cars and busses throughout North Carolina since 2016. This program has established almost 200 public electric charging stations in the state.
In 2016, Duke Energy assisted the city of Greensboro with bus charging, and recently assisted the City of Asheville with charging stations.
The money for the program is part of a settlement between environmental groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency negotiated in 2015.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission is considering a $76 million Electric Transportation program from Duke Energy, but is separate from the $300,000 GoTriangle and GoRaleigh grants. This program aims to expand access to charging stations within municipal and school bus areas, as well as within residential areas.
“North Carolina deserves a cleaner and smarter energy future, and supporting the use of electric transportation is a Duke Energy priority that will benefit our communities, customers and our state’s future,” said Lang Reynolds, Duke Energy’s director of Electrification Strategy, in the news release. “This initiative will help accelerate public and private EV use while also reducing carbon emissions.”
North Carolina current has more than 10,000 plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles with around 600 public charging stations. The programs aims to more than double that amount.
In South Carolina, the Public Service Commission is considering a similar $10.4 million program by Duke Energy.
Duke Energy is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, but operates over six states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.