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Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Duke Energy’s Innovative EV Charging Pilot Program: Balancing Grid Demand and Enhancing Customer Convenience


In an effort to promote cleaner energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Duke Energy is collaborating with General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and BMW of North America to initiate a new electric vehicle (EV) pilot program in North Carolina. The program aims to provide a predictable cost for EV charging.

Duke Energy’s EV Complete Home Charging Plan pilot, which will run for 12 months, offers residential customers in North Carolina up to 800 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month for home EV charging at a set monthly fee of $19.99 in the Duke Energy Carolinas service area and $24.99 in the Duke Energy Progress service area. Considering that the average EV driver uses less than 15 kWh per day, this pilot will provide participants with nearly double the monthly amount needed by the average driver, offering them peace of mind.
Starting in September, customers who own or lease a qualifying EV will receive an invitation from their respective EV manufacturer to participate in the program. More details about enrollment will be provided to participants before the program’s launch on November 1.
Kendal Bowman, Duke Energy North Carolina state president, stated that increasing the number of EVs and reducing the number of gas-powered vehicles on the road will help North Carolina move closer to carbon neutrality.
The pilot program also includes a technology component that allows customers to input their desired state of charge and preferred departure time using an application provided by their automaker. This application then creates a charging schedule optimized for their preferred EV charging times. Duke Energy is collaborating with General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and BMW of North America as part of the Open Vehicle Grid Integration Platform (OVGIP), which allows for the management of EV charging from multiple automakers in a way that is beneficial to both the grid and EV drivers. OVGIP data will enable Duke Energy to measure customer charging data directly from the enrolled vehicles, eliminating the need for a second meter.
During the pilot, participants will input their desired time to reach a certain state of charge, and their automaker will optimize their EV charging schedule to meet their specific needs while attempting to avoid charging during peak grid hours. This process can increase convenience for customers by ensuring a charged vehicle is ready when they need it while also contributing to grid stability.
“The average EV owner is already saving about $1,000 per year on fuel costs compared to a traditional vehicle – a predictable monthly subscription charge on top of that is going to ensure predictable savings when charging,” said Bowman. “Beyond cost savings, EV charging at home tends to be convenient because drivers can leave the house with a fully charged vehicle and lessen the number of trips to public charging stations.”
Duke Energy’s approach to preparing the grid for increased transportation electrification relies heavily on the ability to incentivize EV charging during periods when the grid has spare capacity. As part of this pilot, Duke Energy will initiate up to three demand response events each month to help manage grid demand. Automakers will communicate demand response notifications to pilot participants at least 12 hours before the event, detailing the date and hours during which EV charging should be avoided. Participants have the option to opt out of demand response events up to four times during the pilot.
“EV charging has the added benefit of flexibility, meaning charging can be managed – such as shifting charging to off-peak hours – which is important in limiting cost increases and mitigating peak demands,” said Harry Sideris, executive vice president of customer experience at Duke Energy.
“Duke Energy has been strategically planning and enabling the grid for a future with many more EVs on the road – and is also making data-driven investments to improve reliability, strengthen the grid, expand technologies and provide customers with the intelligent information they need to make smart energy choices and save money."