Electric Vehicles are Ready to Roll in North Carolina

With the right policies in place, plug-in vehicles can reduce oil dependence in North Carolina by 2,770,278 gallons per year, according to a new report released today by Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center.


“It’s time to plug in, power up, and protect our planet because plug-in vehicles have arrived here in North Carolina,” said Jennifer Ross, Legislative Associate at Environment North Carolina


According to the Environment North Carolina report, Charging Forward: The Emergence of Electric Vehicles and Their Role in Reducing Oil Consumption, 11, 810 drivers in North Carolina could purchase their first plug-in vehicle within the next three years. Overall these vehicles will reduce North Carolina’s global warming pollution by 10, 726 metric tons per year. If the plug-in vehicles are powered by clean sources of electricity, these savings will rise to 49, 477 metric tons per year.


“For decades, owning a car has meant consuming oil. Today, drivers finally have a choice,” said Ross. “Thanks in part to smart policies from the Obama administration, every major automobile manufacturer is offering a new plug-in vehicle powered primarily by electricity. For the first time, we can power our cars with clean energy.”


In Washington, President Obama has proposed fuel efficiency standards that Environment North Carolina credits as being the most important step ever taken to build clean, advanced technology cars that will get us off oil. His administration has also made investments in critical technologies, such as advanced batteries and high powered charging stations.


The Environment North Carolina report shows the impressive technological breakthroughs that have helped move plug-in vehicles into the fast lane, from advanced batteries that have dropped in price by over 80 percent, to super-fast charging stations that have reduced charge times by over 90 percent.


To make plug-in vehicles a choice for more consumers, Environment North Carolina’s report calls for more work to be done to build the infrastructure of the charging stations that can service these vehicles, as well as more investment in the technologies that will drive down prices. Currently, North Carolina ranks 10th in the country in total number of vehicle charging stations. Environment North Carolina also called on state and federal leaders to help plug-in vehicles achieve the greatest possible pollution reductions by adopting policies that will ensure we get more of our electricity from clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.


Environment North Carolina was joined by Mayor Pro Tem Russ Stephenson of the City of Raleigh, Julian Prosser, Assistant City Manager of the City of Raleigh and Shoa Afework, a Southern States Nissan representative in releasing today’s report.


“Raleigh continues to lead North Carolina in the transition to electric vehicles with the most charging stations in the state,” said Prosser. “Building vehicles that run without oil is one of the best ways to help North Carolina’s economy and our environment at the same time.”


“As oil prices continue to rise, consumers have become increasingly interested in clean cars like the Nissan Leaf,” said Afework. “Advances in battery technology and sound statewide infrastructure make electric vehicles a viable alternative for most North Carolinians.”


“Electric vehicles offer all Americans hope for a cleaner, healthier future. But to make this promise a reality, continued public investment will be necessary to ensure that these vehicles are as convenient and as affordable as cars powered by oil,” concluded Ross.