MONROE, N.C. — There's nearly one electric vehicle charging port for every gas station in the country, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy. But, a lot more ports will be needed as the number of registered electric vehicles in the U.S. could jump to 35 million by 2030.
What You Need To Know
As of May 2022, there were 43,000 registered zero-emission vehicles in North Carolina
Meanwhile, as of July 2022, there are a little over 1,400 public charging stations across the state, not including Tesla chargers, per the U.S. Department of Energy
Jeff Constantineau and Justin Taylor, founders of Koulomb aim to open at least 15 fast EV charging stations across the Charlotte area in 2023
As of May 2022, there were 43,000 registered zero-emission vehicles in North Carolina, a 230% increase from 2018, according to NCDOT.
Meanwhile, as of July 2022, there are a little over 1,400 public charging stations across the Tar Heel state, not including Tesla chargers, per the U.S. Department of Energy.
"There's a massive shortfall in the amount of chargers, particularly in the Southeast United States," Jeff Constantineau said. "It's a problem nationwide, but it's magnified in the Southeast."
Constantineau is the co-founder of Koulomb, a Charlotte area-based EV charging company.
Koulomb's other founder, Justin Taylor, owns an electric vehicle and believes the low number of available EV chargers is why he and other EV owners worry about driving long distances.
"It's like driving through the desert without any gas stations," Taylor said. "You want to make sure you have the ability to charge, and when you do, you want to do it as safely, conveniently and quickly."
Constantineau says most drivers are used to spending about three minutes filling up their tank at a gas station rather than 45 minutes at a charging port.
"So, we're [Koulomb] buying and sourcing high-quality chargers," Constantineau said. "Three hundred and sixty kilowatts and above that can deliver a charge in 15 to 20 minutes."
Each of their charging stations will be powered using solar energy.
"We're trying to produce the power we're consuming," Taylor said. "And keeping the power in the local economy, just like farm to table."
Constantineau says they aim to have at least 15 stations set up in the Charlotte area by the end of 2023. They will be placed near popular spots such as Ayrsley off I-485 and South Tryon Street.
"It's in a very busy shopping center, co-located with other amenities like bathrooms and coffee shops," Constantineau said.
The future site will look similar to a gas station.
"We'll have 12 pumps, three chargers with four parts each, and on top, a 50-watt solar canopy," Constantineau said.
As Constantineau and Taylor work to help North Carolina meet growing demand, they admit the exact future of electric travel remains unclear.
"But, we've got to get as many charging stations as quickly as possible," Constantineau said. "This wave is coming, and we've got to do it in the right way."
Constantineau and Taylor say they're set to open their first charging location in Matthews in February. They're also looking to build their fast charging stations in Raleigh, Atlanta and Columbia.
Meanwhile, North Carolina is expected to receive up to $109 million in federal funds to construct new public charging stations and upgrade existing infrastructure.