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February 22, 2021
North Carolina Emerging as an EV Leader in the Southeast
Source: Atlas Policy
The crisis in Texas that has been unfolding in recent weeks has demonstrated the devastating effects that extreme weather and climate change can have on critical infrastructure. From heat waves in the Southwest to the deep freeze in the Midwest, we have seen that policy decisions and climate action are intimately tied to the fate and future of our energy, transportation, and other essential systems. In states like New Jersey where climate action is a priority, grid modernization and resiliency investments upwards of $6 billion made since 2012 when Hurricane Sandy devastated the region have not been enough to prevent outages in the wake of major storms. In response, New Jersey is tackling the problem of climate change at the root. Last week, Governor Murphy established the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy and committed an additional $100 million to transportation electrification.

Strategic policy decisions are not limited to the nation’s largest EV markets and 2020 saw new states and regions emerge as regional transportation electrification leaders. This is increasingly true of North Carolina, one of the bright spots in a region ripe for rapid EV and EV charging market growth. Since becoming one of three non-ZEV states to sign the landmark Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle MOU in July 2020, North Carolina has made it clear it wants a piece of the growing EV pie.

As passenger EV sales fell by three percent between 2019 and 2020 nationwide, North Carolina’s EV market grew by five percent. The state’s EV market is also outpacing its conventional market, which shrank by 11 percent over the past year. Part of this upsurge in EV adoption in the Tar Heel State comes from strong stakeholder engagement that is driving EV support in Raleigh. Since 2012, Plug-in NC has been focused on expanding EV awareness and developing charging corridors across the state. Early electrification roadmaps developed by these stakeholders helped inform Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 80, North Carolina's Commitment to Address Climate Change and Transition to a Clean Energy Economy. The October 2018 order established statewide goals to deploy 80,000 EVs by 2025 and rapidly expand EV charging infrastructure statewide. These goals were integrated into the 2019 North Carolina ZEV Plan and public fleet electrification plans were set in the Motor Fleet ZEV Plan.

These plans helped set the stage for large investments in transportation electrification in 2020. Following the signing of the MOU, the state made its first Volkswagen Settlement awards and granted $9.5 million to EVs and EV charging. Several months later in November, Duke Energy was approved to invest $25 million in the state’s first utility EV program. Although the approval was only a third of what Duke originally proposed in March 2019, the Commission has issued specific guidelines for the utility to partner with public agencies and other stakeholders on future programs.

These are all positive signs for North Carolina, but the state has the opportunity to go further. With 23,500 EVs sold in the state through December 2020 and 5,400 of those sales occurring in 2020 alone, annual EV deployment has to increase by roughly three times over the next four years if North Carolina is to meet its goal to have 80,000 EVs on the road by the end of 2025. In addition to increasing passenger EV deployment, at least $64 million in Volkswagen Settlement funds remain unspent. Dedicating this to the deployment of electric buses and trucks could provide in-state support for the growing medium- and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturing presence. Volvo Trucks, Freightliner Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, and Arrival all have existing or planned operations in the state and are scaling up EV operations in the United States. EV manufacturing is a growing driver of jobs in the region and E2 estimates that jobs in North Carolina’s clean energy and transportation sectors are growing 50 percent faster than the rest of the labor market. Increasing support for EVs will not only lead to more jobs and investment in the state, but it will also support public health at a critical time in the pandemic and contribute to the state’s climate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent of 2005 levels by 2025. See our new report, Transportation Electrification in North Carolina, produced in partnership with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy for a deep dive into the state of the EV sector in North Carolina. 
Read the Report
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In this episode of EV Hub Live, Nick Nigro sat down with Katherine Stainken of Plug In America and Kellen Schefter of the Edison Electric Institute to discuss this new research and what we should expect from utilities and other stakeholders on education and outreach in the near term. 

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Atlas is proud to support Roadmap, a leading electric vehicle conference. Join us, June 14-16, 2021 for a virtual graduate course in EV deployment and to advance transportation electrification efforts across the nation.

Forth's annual Roadmap Conference is the leading electric, smart, and shared mobility conference in the United States. This year, Roadmap will include over 100 national and international speakers, dozens of virtual exhibits, high-energy breakout sessions, and plenty of networking opportunities.

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EV Hub News

GM to Sell Only EVs by 2035

On January 28th, 2021, General Motors (GM) announced plans to electrify their entire sales offerings by 2035. This follows announcements made in late 2020 that the company will increase their overall investment in EVs to a total of $27 million in support of at least 30 new EV models by 2025. GM is now leading the total investment commitment to EV manufacturing in the United States. The new announcement is part of a wider ambition for the company to reach carbon neutrality across all operations by 2040. GM is also the first of the “Detroit 3” automakers to make a commitment of this nature and follows European auto giants Volkswagen and Daimler who made similar commitments in 2020. Read More Here

Three States and DC Move to Implement TCI Program

On December 21, 2020, members of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C. announced plans to be the first jurisdictions to begin administering the Transportation & Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) that could bring $300 million of annual investment in clean transportation projects to communities throughout the region. Investment will come from the TCI program which collects “allowance” payments from major oil and gas suppliers in the region to invest in transportation electrification and other emissions-saving technologies. Emissions reductions in these four jurisdictions are expected to reach 26 percent by 2032. Read More Here

California to Ban Sale of New Gas Vehicles by 2035

California, the nation’s largest vehicle market, has announced that the sale of new gasoline passenger cars and trucks will be banned after 2035. The ban comes as a result of an Executive Order from Governor Gavin Newsom and directly addresses the state’s long-term climate goals amid an ongoing season of particularly extreme wildfires. The next steps will be for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish binding requirements setting this new rule in motion. Read More Here

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Job Openings
Below are current job openings in transportation electrification: If you have a job posting you would like to share with EV Hub users, please send them to us in an email at
Upcoming Events

Wireless EV charging, also known as inductive charging, provides drivers the opportunity to fuel-up without plugging in. In this webinar, Forth will be joined by panelists to discuss the wireless charging standard, current pilots, programs, and more. Read more.

February 23rd @ 1pm EST

The Multi-State Electric School Bus Boot Camp is a three-part series that showcases a successful electric school bus V2G project, provides participants with direct access to electric school bus manufacturers, and shares a proven, turn-key solution, including infrastructure support and financing options that make going electric cost neutral to diesel. Read more.

February 24th @ 11am EST

Officials from participating jurisdictions will provide updates on implementation of the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) to cap greenhouse gas pollution from transportation. Speakers will share proposed plans for public engagement and other efforts to ensure equitable outcomes for underserved and overburdened communities; and will present details of a draft “Model Rule” for establishment of the pollution-control program, along with information about how members of the public can provide feedback and input in the coming weeks. Read more.

March 1st @ 1pm EST

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