Duke Energy said it will spend $1.5 million to boost the number of public electric vehicle charging stations in North Carolina by 30 percent.
The program is part of an agreement Duke signed last September to end a 15-year-old legal case in which the federal government said Duke violated the Clean Air Act.
The government claimed in that case that Duke failed to install state-of-the-art air pollution technology when it modified 13 coal-fired power plants. Duke, which did not admit guilt in the settlement, said the modifications did not require pollution upgrades.
Under the program announced Tuesday, Duke will offer $1 million to help cities and towns develop public charging stations for residents. Duke Energy will pay up to $50,000 per city.
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The project will also invest $500,000 for the construction of electric bus charging stations, paying up to $250,000 for each city or town.
Duke says it has already supported the development of several hundred EV charging stations in the state, at parking decks, libraries and shopping centers. Making EVs part of the transportation mainstream, the company says, depends on making such infrastructure widespread.
Advanced Energy, a non-profit organization established by the state Utilities Commission, says North Carolina has 4,700 registered plug-in EVs and about 700 public charging ports.