NASCAR and Sprint Join Energy Department’s Workplace Charging Challenge
Several weeks ago at the NASCAR Plaza in uptown Charlotte, officials from the U.S. Department of Energy, NASCAR, and Sprint announced their involvement in the DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge, a collaborative effort to increase the number of US employers offering workplace charging.
"As the market for electric vehicles continues to grow, partners in the Workplace Charging Challenge are giving drivers more transportation options that save money and benefit the environment," said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Dr. David Danielson.
After the press conference, members of the three NC Clean Cities Coalitions (Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition in Asheville, Triangle Clean Cities Coalition in Raleigh-Durham, and Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition in Charlotte) were able to attend an exclusive round table discussion with Dr. Danielson in order to talk with him about the improvements in EV infrastructure in North Carolina.
During the meeting, Dr. Danielson discussed his commitment to following through on DOE’s goal to decrease the country’s reliance on foreign oil. Attendees brought up the issue of EVs sometimes having a bad reputation, and Dr. Danielson suggested a campaign done through DOE that partners with third party companies and allows people to test drive EVs in order to dissipate the misunderstandings surrounding them. The meeting was a great chance for the group to have a productive discussion about overcoming barriers to further EV infrastructure along with the adoption of other alternative fuels and transportation technologies across the state.
The implementation of this project reflects the growing need for infrastructure that supports electric vehicles. “Here in Mecklenburg County alone, the number of registered electric vehicles has doubled since 2012,” said Sean Flaherty, Co-Coordinator of the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition. “Thanks to planning efforts funded by the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program, the state is now seeing some of its first installations of DC Fast Chargers that can fully charge a plug-in electric vehicle in 30 minutes or less.”
Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition plans to host an EV Ride & Drive in Uptown Charlotte this April in partnership with Charlotte Center City Partners, Envision Charlotte and Duke Energy.