Electric Vehicle Stations Power Up at the Chamber

February 27, 2012

Two plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging stations are now "hot" at the Chamber. The PEV stations are part of Progress Energy Carolinas commercial charging station research program.

Two plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging stations are now "hot" at the Chamber. The PEV stations are part of Progress Energy Carolinas commercial charging station research program.

"The Asheville Chamber is a natural location for a charging station," said Kit Cramer, President of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. "The charging station can not only serve visitors to the area, but those coming to one of our meetings.  It is also representative of our continued interest in protecting our beautiful environment."

Progress Energy Carolinas has installed two stations each at Ingles Market at 1865 Hendersonville Road, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Buncombe County College Street parking deck.

“Our goal with this program is to enable the early adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and to collect data that will help us ensure our infrastructure is ready for the eventual widespread use of these vehicles,” said Lloyd Yates, president and chief executive officer of Progress Energy Carolinas. “This research project gives us insight into the electric system’s state of readiness to accommodate vehicle charging equipment, which will help us as we transform into the transportation fuel providers of the future.”

Progress Energy Carolinas has now provided 12 public access charging stations in North Carolina. Others are located at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, Central Carolina Community College in Pittsboro and North Hills in Raleigh. The first commercial charging stations in the company’s program were installed in September 2011. Although most vehicle charging will occur at home, access to public charging infrastructure will increase the number of miles traveled on electricity and help pave the way for the mass adoption of plug-in vehicles.

Progress Energy Carolinas plans to install about 40 additional stations at commercial customer locations as part of its comprehensive load-research program. Data collected from the stations will help the utility evaluate charging needs outside the home, impact on the grid and the costs and issues associated with installing public-access charging stations. These insights will help the utility better plan for the large-scale adoption of plug-in vehicles. The program is partly funded through a smart grid grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

These are level-2 charging stations, which means they use a 240-volt circuit instead of a standard 120-volt home outlet. A level-2 charging station is capable of providing 10 to 20 additional miles of electric range per hour of charging and provides additional safety due to the hardwired installation.

Progress Energy Carolinas will own and maintain the charging equipment for the duration of the research project, which ends in April 2013. Ownership and maintenance responsibilities will transfer to the commercial customers at the conclusion of the research project.

Progress Energy Carolinas has one of the nation’s most advanced utility PEV programs. The company has a research fleet that includes a Nissan LEAF, six Chevy Volts, four Prius plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), a Ford Escape PHEV prototype and the Southeast’s first plug-in hybrid electric bucket truck. In addition, the company has partnerships with several automakers including General Motors, Nissan and Ford. It is a founding member of Project Get Ready, an initiative aimed at helping municipalities prepare for PEVs, and a founding sponsor of NC State University’s Advanced Transportation Energy Center.

About Progress Energy

Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 500 energy company with more than 22,000 megawatts of generation capacity and approximately $10 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major electric utilities that serve about 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. The company has earned the Edison Electric Institute's Edison Award, the industry's highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence, and was the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder's Award for customer service. The company is pursuing a balanced strategy for a secure energy future, which includes aggressive energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. Progress Energy celebrated a century of service in 2008. Visit the company’s website at www.progress-energy.com.