BOONE — Drivers of electric vehicles now have an additional charging option before they begin road trips on U.S. 421 after Blue Ridge Energy unveiled a charging station at their Watauga district office on Wednesday, June 30.
“This is our second fast charger in our service area, and seventh total charger,” said Blue Ridge Energy Executive Vice President and CEO Doug Johnson. “We’re happy to see this come here to Watauga County, we think it’s going to have a lot of use.”
To get the charger, Blue Ridge Energy worked with the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives to get it awarded from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. The charger will allow an electric vehicle to get to an 80 percent charge within 30 minutes.
Johnson said the company has embraced the idea of reaching a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon reduction by 2050, with the new charger being a step in that direction.
“We believe in more of an all of the above approach; we believe that electricity has to be reliable, affordable and sustainable,” Johnson said. “If we can’t achieve all three, then we missed the mark.”
Also speaking at the event was NCEMC Senior Vice President of Innovation and Business Development Diane Huis, who noted the additional charger was making it easier for current and future EV owners in the area.
“EVs are coming,” Huis said. “Ford has announced that they’re coming out with an electric pickup truck. Once that hits the market and some of these other EVs that are coming, utilization of these chargers is going to be much greater and more of something that we need.”
Huis said that the NCEMC now has 69 chargers and more than 100 charging ports across the state, and those numbers are only increasing.
“This is a real service that we have brought to the people of North Carolina, and I’m really really proud of it,” Huis said.