Governor Roy Cooper (D) recently toured PoleVolt – a new electric vehicle charging station in Charlotte created by a partnership between the City of Charlotte, Duke Energy, Centralina Regional Council and UNC Charlotte – that uses existing streetlights to provide free universal curbside charging for electric vehicles.

[Above photo via the North Carolina Governor’s Office]

PoleVolt – created through a partnership with the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center at UNC Charlotte, the City of Charlotte, the Centralina Regional Council, and Duke Energy – received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. Lessons learned from this project about intentional planning and streamlined local government development review processes should help foster similar projects and help expand curbside EV charging infrastructure more broadly statewide.

The project is also in line with Executive Order No. 246 signed by the governor in January that directs the North Carolina Department of Transportation to work with public and private sectors to create a Clean Transportation Plan to guide the establishment of “a cleaner and more resilient” state transportation system.

The order also “underscores” the importance of emphasizing environmental justice and equity in the state’s transition to a clean economy, the governor said.

“The transition by vehicle manufacturers to electric vehicles is upon us and this station is just one example of how North Carolina is getting ready,” Gov. Cooper explained in a statement. “The quicker we move the more affordable electric vehicles will become for everyday people. Our state is moving toward an equitable clean energy economy and public-private partnerships like this one will help make that happen.”

To help foster the development and deployment of similar projects, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the National Association of State Energy Officials, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of Energy signed a memorandum of understanding on February 23.

Jim Tymon, AASHTO’s executive director, explained in a statement at the time that this MOU provides a “framework for collaboration” in response to the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program established by USDOT and DOE on February 10 to build and operate a nationwide network of EV charging stations.