Salisbury allows Duke Energy to build electric vehicle charging station in downtown

Published 12:07 am Thursday, April 20, 2023

SALISBURY — Electric vehicles have started to leave their mark on the car industry and certain communities, including Salisbury, are joining Duke Energy in being proactive to stay ahead of the curve.

The city of Salisbury has agreed to a site host agreement with Duke Energy to install an electric vehicle charging station in the municipal parking lot located at 301 South Main Street.

Duke Energy Project Manager Donald Hamilton lead a presentation to council on Tuesday night to go over their Park and Plug Program, where they select 20 locations in North Carolina to install electric vehicle charging stations. Duke Energy is hoping this $300,000 investment will promote electric vehicles and provide continued infrastructure for them and their drivers.

“The intent was to limit ‘range anxiety,’ but also to make sure that if there’s already pockets of a lot of chargers there’s no reason to go in that area,” Hamilton said.

This deal comes at no cost to the city, with the only true stipulation is giving Duke the land for the construction site and parking spaces. Salisbury and this specific spot at South Main Street were chosen because the public has access to it 24/7, it’s near major corridors, it’s safe and well-lit, it’s near retail stores and restaurants, and it’s in a Duke Energy service area.

Typically, a 30-minute charge will give people a 150-mile driving range. Payment, along with finding the stations, will be done through an app at a rate of 42 cents per kilowatt hour. The chargers take up a considerable amount of power, the same amount as a Food Lion according to Hamilton. He said the North Carolina Utilities Commission are the ones who dictate the terms of the program.

Hamilton says once the contract is officially signed, they will sketch out the construction drawings, submit those for permitting, and then construction will begin. There is no definitive timeline on when all the paperwork will be approved, but Hamilton advised that construction on the station will take little over a week.

The program is planned to last five years with a sixth year option. When it expires, Salisbury can buy the chargers from Duke Energy at their depreciated market value or return them. In the interim, Duke Energy will be sharing their monthly revenue stream with Salisbury so they can confirm for themselves if buying the chargers would be viable for the city.

“I think it’s needed in the downtown, it’s not only going to help to charge e-vehicles, but it’s also going to hopefully bring folks down to our downtown while they’re charging, visit businesses in the downtown,” City Manager Jim Greene said.