'We are well on track': NC continues to see electric vehicle growth

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ByCindy Bae via WTVD logo
Tuesday, August 23, 2022
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North Carolina continues to see a surge in electric vehicle registrations with more than 30,000 as of June.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- North Carolina continues to see a surge in electric vehicle registrations with more than 30,000 as of June, according to the NCDOT.

"Currently, we're well on track to meet that initial 80,000 registered zero emission vehicle goal," NCDOT's Harris Kay said. "As of June, we are just short of 45,000, which is making great progress, and we're seeing a lot more people interested in buying these cars and actually going through and purchasing these vehicles."

Wake County recorded the highest number of electric vehicle registrations in June with 8,120.

For Cary resident Kristi Matthews, it took months to find a Hyundai IONIQ 5.

"I really had to chase it down," Matthews said. "All the dealerships around here had none available. So I called around, put my name on a list and they finally called me and said we got one coming in and it's the color you want, so I was happy."

The strong demand comes amid high prices. The EV average in July was $62,893, up 14.8% from last year, according to Edmunds.

"The price has definitely increased," a Tesla owner in Raleigh said.

But despite the cost increase, Kay said they're confident the state will reach its goal and exceed it.

"The 2025 goal, we're well on track," Kay said. "The goal that was stated earlier this year reaching 1.25 million by 2030, we always knew was a bit of a stretch goal, but people in the department and many of our partners outside of the department are working hard to make sure that we can do as much as we can to really encourage the adoption of vehicles."

Kay added part of the department's plan is to make sure they're handling both EV and population growth.

"The department has identified several alternative fuel corridors," Kay said. "Basically the main highways and interstates traveled along by people either coming through the state or traveling private people in the state, with the ultimate goal of setting up charging stations at least every 50 miles along each of these alternative fuel corridors."

More challenges include workforce and infrastructure, according to Matthews, who works at the NC Sustainable Energy Association and focuses on growing the percentage of renewable energy on the grid.

"There's a lot of people working on this right now and I think we'll get there," Matthews said. "It's just going to take cooperation from maybe community colleges and other groups to train people up to not only sell these cars, but work on them, and install the charging stations and maintain the charging stations, so there's a lot to be done."