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Union Becomes the First Municipality to Adopt Standardized Electric Vehicle Signage

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The Palmetto Clean Fuels (PCF) coalition celebrated the first municipality in South Carolina to adopt the Plug in SC standardized Electric Vehicle (EV) signage and pavement markings on November 1, 2018 at Timken Sports Complex in Union. As part of this event, a ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiled standardized signage and pavement markings for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations in South Carolina adopted by the City and County of Union. Union owns and operates 8 stations that are available to the public and is the first municipality to implement this complete set of Plug in SC signage. PCF, through its Plug in SC campaign, hopes to replicate this signage at other municipal 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 serves both as a source for EV information and as an EV information clearinghouse for best practices in implementation.

South Carolina currently has 222 public EV charging stations. Union, along with Lockhart Power, partnered with PCF to be the first municipality to adopt the standardized signage at their 8 stations. Lockhart Power invested in the signs and paint, while the City of Union provided the labor and poles for installation of the signage.

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 Coordinator Landon Masters, “It is our hope that, through the Plug in SC campaign, we are able to prepare South Carolinians for increased EV growth.”

The Timken Sports Complex is located at 725 Rice Ave Ext in Union.