North Carolina Reaches Electric Vehicle Registration Goals Two Years Early

North Carolina has surpassed its initial electric vehicle registration goals two years early in yet another indication of the major shift in underway for American drivers, and emphasizing the need for the state to rapidly increase access to electric charging infrastructure.

In 2018, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 80 that called on state agencies to evaluate their operations and set specific, firm, and ambitious goals to decrease emissions across the economy – including increasing the number of total zero-emission vehicles registered in North Carolina. The order set an initial goal of 80,000 zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2025 and North Carolina has surpassed this goal as of November 2023. The order also called for a clean transportation plan to ensure that state, policy, infrastructure and consumers were prepared for this transition in the marketplace.

“We knew the private markets were shifting to electric vehicles so we set bold goals that would help North Carolina communities be ready. Now it’s happening even faster than we anticipated,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “The key is making EVs more affordable with the assurance that charging stations are available most places, and that’s why we are modernizing state policies and working to build out charging infrastructure in every community all across North Carolina.”


In 2018, about 10,000 total ZEVs were registered in the state, increasing by a little under 2,000 per year. EO 80’s initial target of 80,000 ZEVs by 2025 was on pace with the highest potential adoption rate scenario published in the NC ZEV Plan. Surpassing this goal meant registering 5x more ZEVs per year and rapidly accelerating charging station deployment to ensure that North Carolinians can charge and operate their vehicles with peace of mind.

Since 2018, state agencies, local governments, utilities, and private partners have worked together to build the robust charging infrastructure needed to support this accelerated growth. In the last 5 years, this effort increased the total number of accessible public charging ports across the state from 1,400 in 2019 to just under 4,000 today.

Governor Cooper’s EO 246, signed in 2022, set a new goal of 1.25 million ZEVs on the road by 2030. The Governor’s administration is working diligently to increase our efforts across state agencies and in tandem with our partners to seize this opportunity to build the system we need and to ensure equitable access for all North Carolinians.

Since 2019, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (“NCDEQ”) has funded the construction of 901 Level 2 charging ports and 166 DC Fast Charging ports through the North Carolina Volkswagen Settlement Grant Program. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (“NCDOT”) has funded charging stations installed in Asheville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Morrisville, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Roxboro, Oxford, Cary, and Raleigh.

Federal grant opportunities and tax incentives passed as part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act will support these efforts.

In the coming weeks, NCDOT will release a request for proposals for the first round of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (“NEVI”) program designed to construct DC Fast Chargers along major highway corridors all across the state. A map of targeted locations for these chargers can be found here.

Local governments like the cities of Durham and Kings Mountain both received grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”) to install new chargers, with a particular focus on underserved areas. In addition to supporting EV drivers traveling down major interstates, these chargers, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will bring with them increased activity for local businesses and new investment opportunities.

Under Governor Cooper, North Carolina is maintaining its role as a climate and clean energy leader and we will continue to ensure that we are preparing the state for the ongoing clean transportation transition.

Written by the Governor’s Office of North Carolina.