Clean Diesel – Diesel Technology

Electrifying Transportation in North Carolina

March 2012, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Julie Sutor

As electric vehicles hit the market in increasing numbers, Jason Wager and Emily Parker of the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC) are helping fleets plug in and charge up. CCFC, one of North Carolina’s two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-designated Clean Cities coalitions, is working with public- and private-sector partners to deploy electric vehicles; plan for charging infrastructure; and educate fleets and consumers about the associated benefits, challenges, and opportunities of electrification.

“We’re making steady progress through a lot of thoughtful planning,” said Wager, who has led the coalition since 2000. “We’re looking closely at what’s working elsewhere before we invest our resources, and we’re making sure that our infrastructure deployment is commensurate with market demand.”

(L-R) CCFC Coordinator Jason Wager, the City of Gastonia’s Kristy Crisp, and CCFC Co-coordinator Emily Parker unveil a GE Gexpro Level II, partially funded by CCFC.
(L-R) CCFC Coordinator Jason Wager, the City of Gastonia’s Kristy Crisp, and CCFC Co-coordinator Emily Parker unveil a GE Gexpro Level II, partially funded by CCFC.
The University of North Carolina Charlotte is one of many CCFC stakeholders turning to electricity as an alternative to petroleum. The campus has more than 110 electric-drive vehicles that serve a variety of functions, including groundskeeping, maintenance, and housekeeping.

“[The university is] reducing petroleum use, saving money on fuel and protecting students from breathing exhaust fumes,” Wager said.

Other EV leaders in the coalition include the City of Charlotte and Duke Energy, which have already incorporated Chevrolet Volts and Nissan Leafs into their fleets.

On the statewide level, CCFC is leading the North Carolina PEV Readiness Initiative: Plugging In From Mountains to Sea. With $500,000 from the DOE, participants in the initiative are preparing a state readiness plan, developing regional plans for North Carolina’s most populous regions, and strengthening existing local and regional efforts.

Through the initiative, CCFC recently launched a new website, www.Go4PEV.org, dedicated to providing EV readiness guidance to businesses, government agencies and consumers, and sharing lessons from early adopters.

“What we’re hearing from folks is that there’s a need for education and collaboration. If the City of Charlotte has gone through the process of procuring charging equipment, for example, why not share what it learned?” Wager asked.

About the Author
Julie Sutor is a staff member with the Communications Office of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo.

Get Involved With Clean Cities
Through the work of nearly 100 local coalitions, Clean Cities advances the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security by reducing petroleum use in transportation. Clean Cities is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy. Find out more at www.cleancities.energy.gov. For more information about CCFC, visit www.4cleanfuels.com or 

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