Electricity Laws and Incentives in North Carolina
The list below contains summaries of all North Carolina laws and incentives related to electricity.
Utility / Private Incentives
Commercial Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Make-Ready Rebate - Duke Energy
Duke Energy offers business and commercial home building customers a rebate for electrical upgrades to support EV charging stations. Rebate amounts vary by project and EV charging station type. Eligible projects include workplaces, businesses, transit agencies, schools, multifamily dwellings, fleets, new construction homes, and publicly available EV charging stations. For more information, including eligibility requirements and rebate amounts, see the Duke Energy Commercial Charger Prep Credit and Homebuilder Charger Prep Credit websites.
Commercial Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Pilot Program - Duke Energy
Duke Energy offers free EV charging station equipment, installation, maintenance, warranty, and network connection services to businesses through the Park & Plug Program. Participation is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, see the Duke Energy Park & Plug website.
Electric School Bus and Infrastructure Rebate - Duke Energy
Duke Energy offers public and charter schools a rebate of up to $215,000 for the purchase of electric school buses and associated charging infrastructure. Rebates are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, including eligibility requirements, see the Duke Energy Park and Plug website
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate – Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
TVA will establish and fund a network of direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations every 50 miles along interstates and major highways through the Fast Charge Network Program (Program). The Program offers funding for public DCFC stations along EV corridor gaps, up to $150,000 per DCFC station. Eligible applicants include TVA Local Power Companies, and eligible projects must include a minimum of two DCFC ports per location. Program participants must identify suitable host sites and agree to own, operate, and maintain Program-funded DCFC stations for a minimum of five years. For more information, including guidelines and additional eligibility requirements, see the TVA Fast Charge Network website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Incentives - Touchstone Energy Network
Touchstone Energy member cooperatives may offer EV incentives to residential customers. Local cooperatives that may currently offer incentives include:
- Edgecombe-Martin County Electric Membership Corporation
- Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation
- Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative
- Randolph Electric Membership Corporation
- Roanoke Electric Cooperative
- Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation
For more information, including a full list of member cooperatives and available incentives, see the Touchstone Energy Cooperative Network 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.
Multifamily Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Pilot Program - Duke Energy
Duke Energy offers free EV charging station equipment, installation, maintenance, warranty, and network connection services to residents of multifamily dwellings through the Park & Plug Program. Participation is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, see the Duke Energy Multifamily Location EV Charging website.
Residential Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Make-Ready Rebate - Duke Energy
Duke Energy offers residential customers a $1,133 rebate for electrical upgrades to support a Level 2 or direct current fast charging (DCFC) station. For more information, including eligible upgrade costs, see the Duke Energy EV Charger Prep Credit website.
Laws and Regulations
Advanced Technology Vehicle Purchase Policy for Dealerships
Vehicle manufacturers may not prevent rural and other franchised dealers from obtaining, selling, or leasing electric, hydrogen, or automated vehicles.
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 (MHD) vehicles to ZEVs, as directed by the state’s participation in the Multi-State MHD ZEV Memorandum of Understanding.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Annual Fee
The owner of an EV that is exclusively powered by electricity must pay a fee of $180 and the owner of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle must pay a fee of $90 in addition to any other required registration fees at the time of initial registration and annual registration renewal.
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 EVs. Dealerships are not required to offer public charging or purchase more EV charging stations than reasonably necessary.
(Reference North Carolina General Statues 20-305)
Electric Vehicle (EV) Definition
An EV 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, and
- Meets applicable requirements in Title 49 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Section 571.
(Reference North Carolina General Statutes 20-4.01)
Electric Vehicle (EV) Registration Tracking Requirement
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will report EV, hybrid electric vehicle, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle registrations on its performance dashboard. Data must include the number of monthly new registrations, monthly registration renewals, and the cumulative number of new registrations. For more information, see the NCDOT REPORT Program and the Zero Emission Vehicle Registration Data websites.
Medium- and Heavy-Duty (MHD) Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support
California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, 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 (MHD) ZEVs through involvement in a Multi-State ZEV Task Force (Task Force).
In July 2022, the Task Force published a multi-state action plan to support electrification of MHD vehicles. The action plan includes strategies and recommendations to accomplish the goals of the MOU, including limiting all new MHD vehicle sales in the signatory states to ZEVs by 2050, accelerating the deployment of MHD ZEVs, and ensuring MHD ZEV deployment also benefits disadvantaged communities.
For more information, see the Medium- and Heavy-Duty ZEVs: Action Plan Development Process website.
Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Requirement
By May 15, 2023, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) must propose a rule to adopt the California Advanced Clean Trucks requirements specified in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, requiring manufacturers to meet California ZEV production and sales requirements. The NCDEQ may collaborate with local governments, electric utilities, and other stakeholders to develop this proposed rule and analyze potential impacts.
(Reference Executive Order 271, 2022)
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(23))
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 NCDOT has developed a mechanism to charge EV charging station users a fee to recover the costs related to electricity consumed, processing fees, and operation and maintenance. 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 ZEVs by 2030; and,
- Increase the share of new passenger vehicle sales to 50% ZEVs by 2030.
(Reference Executive Order 246, 2022)
Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Infrastructure Study
The North Carolina Department of Transportation must establish a North Carolina ZEV Infrastructure Needs Assessment in partnership with other agencies. The assessment must evaluate charging and fueling needs to support the adoption and implementation of the California Advanced Clean Trucks program and the achievement of state ZEV adoption and greenhouse gas emissions goals.
(Reference Executive Order 271, 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. Cabinet agencies must prioritize ZEVs in the purchase or lease of new medium- and heavy-duty (MHD) vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 8,500 pounds. 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.
Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Support
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), 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, including the current number of ZEV registrations, see the NCDOT Climate Change & Clean Energy: Plans & Progress website.
(Reference Executive Order 80, 2018)
Alternative Fuel Tax Exemption
The retail sale, use, storage, and consumption of alternative fuels is exempt from the state retail sales and use tax.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV), Idle Reduction Technologies, and Diesel Retrofits Funding
The Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project provides grant funding to reduce transportation-related emissions for areas in nonattainment with the 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
Clean Transportation Program Manager
North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, North Carolina State University
Phone: (919) 515-2788
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.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Grant Program
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Level 2 Infrastructure Grant Program and Zero Emission Vehicle Direct Current Fast Charge (DCFC) Infrastructure Program and Level 2 Infrastructure Program provides funding for the purchase and installation of public and private Level 2 EV charging stations and public DCFC stations. This program is funded by North Carolina’s portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including funding amounts and availability, see the DEQ Volkswagen Settlement website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Emissions Inspection Exemption
Qualified light-duty EVs and FCEVs are exempt from state emissions inspection requirements. Other restrictions may apply.
Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Reduction Funding
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Diesel Bus and Vehicle Programs provide funding for heavy-duty on-road new diesel or alternative fuel vehicles or engine repowers and replacements, as well as off-road repowers and replacements. Both government and non-government entities that own and operate diesel fleets and equipment are eligible for funding. Vehicles and equipment that qualify for replacement or repower include:
- Class 4-8 school buses, shuttle buses, and transit buses;
- Class 4-8 local freight trucks, ferries, forklifts, and freight switchers; and
- Class 8 local freight trucks and port drayage trucks.
This program is funded by North Carolina’s portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including funding availability, see the DEQ Diesel Bus and Vehicle Programs website.
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption
Qualified 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)
North Carolina's National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Planning
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) NEVI Formula Program requires the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to submit an annual EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan (Plan) to the DOT and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office), describing how the state intends to distribute NEVI funds. The submitted plans must be established according to NEVI guidance.
More Laws and Incentives
To find laws and incentives for other alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, search all laws and incentives.