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Palmetto Clean Fuels Launches Plug in SC Campaign to Promote Electric Vehicles

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The Palmetto Clean Fuels (PCF) coalition launched its Plug in SC campaign on April 24, 2018 at Shealy Electrical Wholesalers headquarters. As part of this event, a ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiled standardized signage and pavement markings for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations in South Carolina. Shealy Electrical Wholesalers owns an EV station that is available to the public and is the first to implement this complete set of Plug in SC signage. PCF, through its Plug in SC campaign, hopes to replicate this signage at EV charging stations throughout the state.

PCF is an initiative of the SC Office of Regulatory Staff - Energy Office. Among other goals, PCF works to increase the use of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies in South Carolina; EVs are just one aspect of PCF’s work. This focus on EVs stems from the projected growth in adoption of EVs across the entire United States. Through its research and discussions with stakeholders, PCF has identified several challenges hindering the development of the EV market in South Carolina. The most important reason is that consumers are hesitant to purchase EVs because of the uncertainty surrounding recharging. Complicating matters is the fact that current EV charging stations are often overlooked due to inadequate and inconsistent signage, both at the charging station itself and directional signage leading to the charging station.

Plug in SC is the only marketing campaign in South Carolina focused on the advancement of EVs. It is designed to encourage a unified approach to EV signage based on nationally recognized templates. Plug in SC recommends standardized EV charging station signage, pavement markings, and directional signage. Use of a unified approach should assist EV drivers and increase EV adoption and visibility in South Carolina. In addition, Plug in SC will serve both as a source for EV information and as an EV information clearinghouse for best practices in implementation.

South Carolina currently has 208 public EV charging stations. Shealy Electrical Wholesalers, a member of the SC Clean Energy Business Alliance and a leading proponent of EVs, is partnering with PCF to be the first to adopt the standardized signage. The cost for standardization of a charging station is approximately $440 ($80 for signs, $60 for paint, and $300 for labor to paint the pavement markings), an expense that Shealy Electrical views as a worthwhile investment. “We are pleased to join forces with Palmetto Clean Fuels to lead the way in standardizing EV infrastructure in South Carolina,” explains Jim Woods, product manager at Shealy Electrical Wholesalers. “We believe that well developed EV infrastructure in South Carolina will yield great benefits not only for the environment, but also for the business climate in this state.”

That kind of forward-looking approach to EV adoption in South Carolina is exactly what PCF hopes will take root through the Plug in SC campaign. According to PCF co-coordinator Maeve Mason, “It is our hope that, through the Plug in SC campaign, we are able to prepare South Carolinians for increased EV growth.”