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Level 2 Charging Station Program

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s (NCDEQ’s) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) will begin accepting proposals on January 25, 2021, for Level 2 charging station projects to be funded by Phase 1 of the NC Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement Program.

NCDEQ has allocated $1.1 million to this Level 2 Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Charging Infrastructure program. You can access the full request for proposals here.

Level 2 Charging Stations

Charging is often categorized into three levels: Level 1, Level 2 and DC fast charge. Level 2 charging provides 12 to 60 miles of range per hour. Level 2 charging stations are commonly found in public locations, including shopping centers, downtown communities, multifamily housing and workplaces. They are a great option for areas where people may be parked for a few hours.

Benefits of Installing Level 2 Charging Stations

  • Attracts electric vehicle (EV) owners to your business or community
  • Offers a convenient place to charge that extends driving range
  • Encourages EV adoption by increasing visibility of EVs and charging options
  • Shows an example of meeting customers’ requests and future needs
  • Promotes sustainability efforts and social responsibility
  • Supports emerging technologies and showcases your business as innovative

Overview of Application Logistics

  • The Level 2 ZEV Charging Infrastructure application opens January 25, 2021.
  • To gain access to the DAQ Grant Management System, where applications will be submitted, you must obtain an NCID and fill out the NCDEQ-AQ-GMS-ACCESS-AUTHORIZATION-FORM and the State of North Carolina Substitute W-9 Form. Email the completed forms to svc.NCVWApplication@ncdenr.gov by 5 p.m. on January 20, 2021.
  • This is a first-come, first-served rebate program open until all funds are exhausted. An application must be submitted to NCDEQ and be approved for a rebate voucher prior to purchasing and installing charging equipment. Rebate voucher recipients must provide their own funding to cover expenses as they are incurred and submit proof that the project invoices have been paid, proof of project work completion and other additional required documentation to NCDEQ.
  • Eligible applicants include incorporated nonprofits, public school districts, municipal governments and authorities, NC State government agencies, tribal government agencies, metropolitan or rural planning organizations, businesses incorporated in or registered with the NC Department of the Secretary of State, air quality or transportation organizations, multi-unit dwellings, workplaces and federal government agencies.
  • Rebates can be applied to project costs directly associated with equipment acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance (see RFP for list of eligible and ineligible project expenditures).
  • The project must have at least two charging ports (i.e., plugs). This can be accomplished, for example, by installing two charging stations with one port each or one charging station with two ports.
  • Each charging station must be able to connect to a network by wired Ethernet, Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Networking allows for centralized management, administration, communication, diagnostics and data collection.
  • Rebates will be available either as a maximum dollar amount or as a percentage of the total project costs, whichever is less. Table 1 below outlines the percentage and maximum dollars available by project type. Applicants are limited to $25,000 in approved rebate vouchers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How would installing Level 2 charging benefit me?
    • Installing EV charging can benefit your organization in several ways. For example, it can bring visitors to your business, as EV drivers often look for stops where they can plug in, and they may spend a few hours — or overnight — charging. Apps like PlugShare map out charging stations and allow users to share their experiences.

      Charging stations also demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, and highlight your organization as innovative and forward-thinking.

  2. How much will having a charging station cost me?
    • It depends. If you are considering installing a Level 2 charger on your company’s premises, talk to your electric utility about your electricity rate and how a charging station might impact your monthly bill.

      The overall cost of a Level 2 charging station depends on the utilization of the charger and the rate structure in place where it is installed. Keep in mind that cost recovery comes in many forms, including increasing traffic to your location (as drivers stop to charge) and establishing a price to plug in.

  3. Some charging stations appear to be free, but others require payment. What’s the difference?
    • Level 2 charging stations have the option to require payment, and it’s up to the operators who install or maintain the stations whether they do.

      Regardless of any fee implemented, the stations must be networked, meaning they must connect to a network either through wired Ethernet, Wi-Fi or a cellular connection. Networked stations can capture and report charging characteristics, which will need to be provided to the NCDEQ.

  4. What regulations must the charging stations follow?
    • Charging stations must make every effort to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and follow all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, codes and standards. More information can be found here and here.

  5. What needs to be discussed with electrical contractors and inspectors?
    • This handbook, geared toward contractors and inspectors, includes overviews, guidelines and checklists to help install charging stations. However, your charging station vendor will handle many of these steps when coordinating installation.

Next Steps

  • Connect with Plug-in NC or your local Clean Cities Coalition (Triangle Clean Cities, Centralina Clean Fuels, Land-of-Sky Clean Vehicles) for help with your application.
  • Contact your electric utility to let them know you’re interested in applying and see if there are additional considerations.
  • Reach out to vendors to secure pricing for charging equipment and installation. If you are a government entity and required to purchase through state contract, you can find vendors here. However, do not purchase or order any equipment until an agreement with NCDEQ is in place.