September 13, 2019 (Asheboro, N.C.)– Plug-in electric vehicle drivers, supporters, and intrigued visitors of the North Carolina Zoo attended an event hosted by Randolph Electric Membership Corporation on Friday, September 13, as a kick-off to the the annual National Drive Electric Week (September 14-22). Each year, events across the nation highlight the clean-air benefits, cost-savings and fun electric vehicles provide during this week.
The N.C. Zoo’s commitment to the environment and sustainable practices, coupled with a long-standing, positive relationship with Randolph EMC made it the perfect location to highlight the benefits of EV adoption. Plug-in vehicles by Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan, and Tesla, along with EV chargers were on display for event attendees. Local manufacturer Thomas Built Buses also had their all-electric school bus “Jouley” available for attendees to tour.
“A switch to electric vehicles provides an alternative fuel source for drivers and reduces air pollution,” said Jill Vanness, Director of Member and Public Relations. “Randolph EMC’s Drive Electric event brought our community together to share how people are enjoying driving these cars while helping the environment and realizing significant savings along the way.”
This event also gave Randolph EMC the opportunity to share how it’s working with EV owners to evaluate their vehicles’ impact on the electric grid. The Randolph EMC Electric Vehicle Utility Program (REVUP) offers members of the cooperative a $500 rebate on a Wi-Fi enabled Level 2 EV Charger for their home, as well as a special time-of-use rate that encourages them to charge during off-peak hours when energy is less expensive.
“We have member-owners from different walks of life participating in our REVUP program, scattered across our territory from the outskirts of Burlington to the pine forests of Montgomery County,” said CEO Dale Lambert. “Today’s event was really about letting them share their stories with folks who might be curious about what it’s like to own an electric vehicle.”
“Consistently, one of the top reasons people are hesitant to switch from gasoline to electric is ‘range anxiety,’ or the fear that they’ll run out of power before they reach their destination,” Lambert added. “We hope the EV drivers here today helped to ease some of that anxiety, and that attendees could learn about real-world charging habits.”
About 80 percent of EV charging is done at the home, which the electric co-op has covered with no issue. But in order to make EV adoption truly feasible, charging infrastructure must be expanded. That’s why Randolph EMC and the other 25 N.C. cooperatives are working together to create a network of charging stations throughout the rural areas of the state, starting with the N.C. Zoo. In 2018, Randolph EMC partnered with ChargePoint to provide two charging stations at the park’s Solar Pointe location and two at the North America entrance.