Electricity Laws and Incentives in North Carolina

The list below contains summaries of all North Carolina laws and incentives related to electricity.

State Incentives

Alternative Fuel Tax Exemption

The retail sale, use, storage, and consumption of alternative fuels is exempt from the state retail sales and use tax. (Reference North Carolina General Statutes 105-164.13)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV), Idle Reduction Technologies, and Diesel Retrofits Funding

The Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project provides grant funding to reducing transportation-related emissions in nonattainment and maintenance counties for National Ambient Air Quality Standards. A project that is adjacent to these areas may also be eligible for funding if the project will reduce emissions in eligible counties. For more information, including current requests for proposals, see the CFAT website.

Point of Contact
Rick Sapienza
Clean Transportation Program Manager
North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, North Carolina State University
Phone: (919) 515-2788
resapien@ncsu.edu

Alternative Fuel and Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Fund

The North Carolina State Energy Office administers the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) Credit Banking and Selling Program, which enables the state to generate funds from the sale of EPAct 1992 credits. The funds that EPAct credit sales generate are deposited into the Alternative Fuel Revolving Fund (Fund) for state agencies to offset the incremental costs of purchasing biodiesel blends of at least 20% (B20) or ethanol blends of at least 85% (E85), developing alternative fueling infrastructure, and purchasing AFVs and hybrid electric vehicles. Funds are distributed to state departments, institutions, and agencies in proportion to the number of EPAct credits generated by each. For the purposes of this program, alternative fuels include 100% biodiesel (B100), biodiesel blends of at least B20, ethanol blends of at least E85, compressed natural gas, propane, and electricity. The Fund also covers additional projects approved by the Energy Policy Council. (Reference North Carolina General Statutes 143-58.4, 143-58.5, 143-341, and 136-28.13)

Alternative Fuel and Idle Reduction Grants

The North Carolina Department of Environment Quality (DEQ) provides grants to repower, replace, and convert eligible on and off road vehicles and equipment to alternative fuels and fuel efficient technology. Equipment must be U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or California Air Resources Board verified. For more information, including a list of eligible technologies, see the DEQ Diesel Emission Reductions Grants website.

Point of Contact
Jill Vitas
Environmental Engineer
North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
Phone: (919) 707-8424
jill.vitas@ncdenr.gov

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption

Qualified plug-in electric vehicles, dedicated natural gas vehicles, and fuel cell electric vehicles may use North Carolina HOV lanes, regardless of the number of occupants. This exemption expires September 30, 2025. (Reference North Carolina General Statutes 20-4.01 and 20-146.2)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Emissions Inspection Exemption

Qualified PEVs and FCEVs are exempt from state emissions inspection requirements. Other restrictions may apply. (Reference North Carolina General Statutes 20-4.01 and 20-183.2)

Laws and Regulations

Alternative Fuel Use and Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Requirements

State-owned vehicle fleets must implement petroleum displacement plans to increase the use of alternative fuels and fuel-efficient vehicles. Reductions may be met by petroleum displaced through the use of biodiesel, ethanol, other alternative fuels, the use of hybrid electric vehicles, other fuel-efficient or low emission vehicles, or additional methods the North Carolina Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources approves. (Reference Session Law 2013-265, Section 19.5(a))

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Acquisition Goal

North Carolina established a goal that at least 75% of new or replacement state government light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less must be AFVs or low emission vehicles. (Reference North Carolina General Statutes 143-215.107C)

Clean Transportation Plan

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) must develop and submit a state-wide Clean Transportation Plan (Plan) by April 7, 2023, to meet North Carolina's emission reduction and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) goals. The Plan must recommend actionable strategies for decarbonizing the transportation sector by:

  • Increasing ZEV availability, sales, and usage to levels beyond current market projections;
  • Reducing statewide vehicle miles traveled;
  • Investing in clean transportation infrastructure;
  • Increasing equitable access to clean mobility options;
  • Increasing availability of non-vehicle transportation modes; and,
  • Transitioning registered vehicles to zero- and low-emission fuels.
The Plan must also include considerations for transitioning medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to ZEVs, as directed by the state’s participation in the Multi-State Medium and Heavy Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Memorandum of Understanding.

(Reference Executive Order 80, 2018, and Executive Order 246, 2022)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Annual Fee

The owner of an EV that is exclusively powered by electricity must pay a fee of $130 in addition to any other required registration fees at the time of initial registration and annual registration renewal. (Reference North Carolina General Statutes 20-87)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Purchase Policy for Dealerships

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) may not require or coerce dealerships to purchase or lease EV charging stations unless the dealership is selling that OEM’s electric vehicles. Dealerships are not required to offer public charging or purchase more EV charging stations than reasonably necessary. (Reference House Bill 403, 2021)

Electric Vehicle Performance Dashboard

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) will report all-electric vehicle, hybrid electric vehicle, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle registrations on its performance dashboard. Data will include the number of monthly new registrations, monthly registration renewals, and the cumulative number of new registrations. For more information, see the DOT REPORT Program website. (Reference North Carolina General Statues 136-18.05, Section 29.14)

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support

California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington (signatory states) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs through involvement in a Multi-State ZEV Task Force (Task Force).

By January 2021, the Task Force will develop a multi-state action plan to support electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The Task Force will consider actions to accomplish the goals of the MOU, including limiting all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sales in the signatory states to ZEVs by 2050. The signatory states will also seek to accelerate the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs to benefit disadvantaged communities and explore opportunities to coordinate and partner with key stakeholders.

For more information, see the Medium- and Heavy-Duty ZEVs: Action Plan Development Process website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Definition

A PEV is defined as a vehicle that:

  • Does not have the ability to be propelled by gasoline
  • Draws electricity from a battery with a capacity of at least four kilowatt-hours and is capable of being charged from an external source
  • Has not been modified from the original equipment manufacturer power train specifications
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less
  • Has a maximum speed of at least 65 miles per hour
  • Meets applicable requirements in Title 49 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.
(Reference House Bill 211, 2019 and North Carolina General Statutes 20-4.01)

Public Utility Definition

A person who uses electric vehicle supply equipment to resell electricity to the public for the purposes of fueling an electric vehicle is not considered a public utility. (Reference North Carolina General Statutes 62-3).

State Highway Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Regulations

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) may install and operate public EV charging stations at state-owned highway rest stops so long as it has developed a mechanism to charge EV charging station users a fee to recover the costs related to electricity consumed, processing the user fee, and operating and maintaining the EV charging station. NCDOT may consult with other state agencies and industry representatives to develop a cost recovery mechanism. (Reference North Carolina General Statutes 136-18.02)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment and Emissions Reductions Goals

North Carolina established the following goals to reduce statewide greenhouse (GHG) emissions:

  • GHG emissions must be at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030;
  • Achieve net-zero emissions by 2050;
  • Register at least 1,250,000 zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030; and,
  • Increase the share of new passenger vehicle sales to 50% ZEVs by 2030.
To meet these goals, the North Carolina Policy Office must conduct a GHG emission analysis by January 8, 2023, that evaluates potential pathways for achieving net-zero GHG emissions across the state by 2050 and interim targets.

(Reference Executive Order 246, 2022)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Requirements

State-owned vehicle fleets must prioritize ZEVs in the purchase or lease of new vehicles and use ZEVs for agency travel when feasible. The Department of Administration (Department) developed the North Carolina Motor Fleet ZEV Plan (Plan). The Plan identifies the types of trips for which ZEV-use is feasible, recommends infrastructure necessary to support ZEV use, and develops ZEV procurement options and strategies. The Department provides information about each agency’s ZEV acquisitions and miles driven by vehicle type annually. For more information, see the Department’s Climate Change & Clean Energy: Plans & Progress website. (Reference Executive Order 80, 2018)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Support

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT), in coordination with the Department of Environmental Quality, developed a ZEV Plan to guide ZEV adoption in North Carolina and increase the number of ZEVs in the state to at least 80,000 by 2025. The ZEV Plan provides guidelines for establishing state-wide vehicle corridors, installing charging stations and other infrastructure, and incorporating best practices for increasing ZEV adoption. For more information, see the DOT's Climate Change & Clean Energy: Plans & Progress website. (Reference Executive Order 80, 2018)

Utility/Private Incentives

EV Charging Rebate and Time-Of-Use (TOU) Rate - Randolph Electric Membership Corporation (EMC)

Randolph EMC’s Electric Vehicle Utility Program (REVUP) offers residential customers a rebate of $500 for the purchase of qualified Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Rebates are available to the first 50 applicants on a first-come, first served basis. REVUP also offers a TOU rate to residential customers that own or lease a plug-in electric vehicle. For more information, including eligibility requirements, see the REVUP website.

Electric School Bus and Infrastructure Rebate - Duke Energy

Duke Energy offers school districts a rebate for the purchase of electric school buses and to host utility-owned charging infrastructure. For more information, including eligibility requirements, see the Duke Energy Park and Plug website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Rate Incentive – Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative (CHEC)

Cape Hatteras Electric Co-Op (CHEC) offers time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates to residential customers that own or lease a EV. For more information, see the CHEC Electric Vehicles website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate - Energy United

Energy United offers residential customers a $500 rebate for the installation of a Level 2 EV charging station. For more information, including how to apply, see the Energy United Appliance Rebate website

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate - Surry-Yadkin Membership Corporation (SYEMC)

SYEMC offers residential members a rebate of $500 to purchase an EV charging station. For more information, see the SYEMC Member Rebates website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate – Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative (CHEC)

Cape Hatteras Electric Co-Op (CHEC) offers a bill credit of $100 to residential customers who install a Level 2 EV charging station. For more information, including how to apply, see the CHEC Electric Vehicles website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Support

North Carolina utilities joined the National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC), committing to create a network of direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations connecting major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific of the United States. NEHC utility members agree to ensure efficient and effective fast charging deployment plans that enable long distance EV travel, avoiding duplication among coalition utilities, and complement existing corridor DCFC sites. For more information, including a list of participating utilities and states, see the NEHC website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate and Time-Of-Use (TOU) Rate - Roanoke Electric Cooperative

Roanoke Electric Cooperative offers a TOU rate to residential customers that own or lease a EV. Members pay a flat fee of $50 per month for a Level 2 charging station and up to 450kW of electricity. In addition to the discounted rate, the first 10 participants will receive a $1,000 rebate. For more information, see the EV Program website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Time-Of-Use (TOU) Rate - Edgecombe-Martin County EMC

Edgecombe-Martin County Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) offers a TOU rate to members that own an EV. Eligible customers who sign up for the TOU rate will also receive a $200 bill credit. For more information, including application requirements, see the Edgecombe-Martin County EMC EV Rates website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Time-Of-Use (TOU) Rate and Credit - Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation

Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation (PEMC) offers a TOU rate to members that own or lease an EV. Eligible customers who sign up for the TOU rate will receive a $50 bill credit. Customers may also receive an additional $50 bill credit for the purchase of an EV. For more information, including eligibility requirements, see the PEMC EV TOU Rate and EV Incentives websites.

More Laws and Incentives

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