RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina transportation leaders are planning for the growing popularity of electric vehicles in the state, but it’s not without challenges.
This week, the 2023 N.C. Transportation Summit featured the future possibilities of mobility for the state.
NCDOT Chief Operating Officer Joey Hopkins said in order for large-scale electric use to be possible, infrastructure must already be in place.
The state transportation department plans to pour $109 million in federal funding over the next three years to install charging ports every 50 miles along major highways.
“There’s a fear, though from the public on ‘if I have an EV, how far can I go? Can I get back home?’” Hopkins said. “And that will help overcome some of that range anxiety.”
But more EVs on the road, mean less money for state transportation projects, Hopkins said.
“Because a big part of how we fund transportation in North Carolina is through the gas tax,” Hopkins said.
He said the state will have to find alternate funding sources.
“Our funding will probably come from vehicle miles traveled, maybe there’s some sort of access or user fee, or increased registration, things like that. That hadn’t been decided yet in North Carolina,” Hopkins said.
John Stahlbusch works with Cary-based ABB E-Mobility to help install electric-vehicle charging ports across the country. The company just opened a new manufacturing plant in South Carolina.
“The only hold up between now and what you’re going to see in the next few years is being able to make the EV infrastructure essentially the same reliability, the same readiness, the availability of the gas station, the gas pump,” Stahlbusch said.
Electric car manufacturer VinFast is expected to start production at it’s new plant in Chatham County next year.