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Duke Energy Indiana Plans Two-Year Electric Transportation Pilot Programs

Sept. 29, 2022
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved four two-year, customer-focused Duke Energy electric transportation pilot programs for the company’s Indiana customers.

Duke Energy is launching electric transportation pilot programs in Indiana for its residential and commercial customers, including businesses, schools and local governments.

On June 1, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved four two-year, customer-focused Duke Energy electric transportation pilot programs for the company’s Indiana customers. Each program is designed to better understand the effects of increasing adoption of EVs, customer EV charging preferences and behavior, and the potential benefits to Indiana.

The pilot programs will launch on Oct. 1 and run for 24 months each.

“As the adoption of electric vehicles accelerates, pilot programs such as these give us the opportunity to gain critical knowledge around what an electric automotive future will require and ensure we’re planning the system to reliably meet our customers’ needs,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar.

The EV pilot programs include:

Off-Peak Charging Credit

Residential customers with a Level 2 EV charger can apply for an Off-Peak Credit program, which provides a quarterly bill credit for charging EVs during times of decreased energy demand. Up to 500 participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The $50 quarterly credit is available for two years, totaling $400 per customer. The pilot will look at customer response to price incentives related to when they charge their vehicles. Those interested in participating should go to: www.duke-energy.com/home/products/ev-complete/off-peak-credit.

Commercial Charger Rebate

The Commercial Charger Rebate pilot program offers a financial incentive to Duke Energy commercial customers, including businesses, apartment dwelling units, and government or workplace fleet operators, to install electric vehicle chargers at their place of business. The purpose of this pilot is to better understand the needs of this customer segment and the effects on the electric grid.

Up to 1,200 charging stations are included in the pilot, and participants can receive $500 per charging station. Participants must install a minimum of four Level 2 EV charging stations, and the maximum available for an incentive per participant is 20.

Private fleet customers must own, lease or otherwise operate on a regular basis one or more plug-in EVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or battery electric vehicle) per each incentive received. For more information about how to participate, go to: www.duke-energy.com/business/products/ev-complete/charger-rebate.

Ten percent of the pilot’s incentives – accounting for approximately 120 chargers – will be designated for commercial entities in low-income areas.

Fleet Advisory

The Fleet Advisory pilot program is an opportunity for fleet managers to assess the economics and sometimes complex logistical challenges of commercial fleets transitioning to electric vehicles. Duke Energy will provide comprehensive EV suitability analysis for eligible customers interested in switching their operating fleets to electric. The company plans to perform 45 consultations over two years.

Electric School Bus

As part of the Electric School Bus pilot program, Duke Energy will work with school districts to provide partial funding – up to $197,000 per bus – and charging infrastructure for six electric school buses. The aim is to study the ability of the bus battery to dispatch energy to the electric grid – helping supply stored power for Indiana customers.

Half of the pilot’s participation will be allocated to schools with a student population greater than 30% receiving free or reduced-price lunches. The remainder of pilot participants will be enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to program goals.

A Charged Path Forward

The week of Sept. 23-Oct. 2 marks National Drive Electric Week (NDEW), a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, motorcycles and more. Coordinated by Plug In America and supported by the National Electric Highway Coalition, NDEW educates consumers about the benefits of EVs and offers in-person events across the country related to transportation electrification.

Recently, electric charging stations got a major boost when the Indiana Department of Transportation announced it is investing more than $100 million in federal infrastructure funds to build an EV fast-charging network at strategic locations across Indiana. Indiana’s effort is part of a national initiative to create a network of at least 500,000 reliable chargers across the U.S. to support the growing adoption of electric vehicles.

With support from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Duke Energy is working with other major Indiana utility companies, including AES Indiana, Indiana Michigan Power (AEP), CenterPoint Energy, NIPSCO, WVPA, Hoosier Energy and Crawfordsville Power & Light, to install 61 fast-charging stations across Indiana.

Known as the EV Crossroads of America, the initiative aims to ensure an EV fast-charging station is located every 30 to 50 miles throughout Indiana’s major interstates and highways.

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