Duke Energy has postponed a rally for owners of plug-in electric vehicles such as the Chevy Volt due to fewer people than expected signing up.
The event was scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22. Duke said in an email sent Thursday there were fewer than anticipated registrations for the event.
We regret any inconvenience to you and your family, and hope to reschedule the event in the near future for our PEV enthusiasts, said Duke.
The rally was targeted towards participants in the Charge|Carolinas pilot program. Duke installed 240-volt rapid vehicle charging stations at participants houses, covering up to $1,000 worth of installation costs. The home charging stations send data to Duke, so the utility can learn more about customers behavior.
Duke spokeswoman Paige Layne said the utility doesnt believe lack of interest in electric vehicles was the cause for low registrations.
We dont see it as an indication that people arent interested, we just see it as a bad weekend, she said. The proposed date conflicts with Festival in the Park, an arts festival in Freedom Park, and also is on a Saturday, when college football games are being played.
Layne said the utility intends to reschedule the rally for a time that doesnt conflict with other events.
Last year, Duke advised the 65 homeowners enrolled in its program to consider halting the use of their charging stations after a fire last October.
The blaze caused $800,000 worth of damage to a Mooresville house where a Volt was being charged in the garage. But Duke and Progress soon said it appeared the Siemens-brand charging station was not to blame.
Sales have also been sluggish. According to reports, General Motors, Chevrolets parent company, has sold 13,500 Volts through August, putting it on track to come in well below its 2012 sales goal of 40,000 vehicles.
The rally next Saturday was scheduled for Oehlers Mallard Creek Barbeque, in north Charlotte. It was to have included a panel discussion with charging program pilot participants, a free lunch, rides in electric vehicles, and face-painting and a petting zoo for kids.