New electric car-sharing program to launch in Charlotte by 2023

CHARLOTTE — The City of Charlotte has announced on Thursday the launch of a new electric vehicle car-sharing program that will look to provide lower-income residents with transportation without paying for the cost of maintenance that comes with traditional ownership.

The program aims to increase the access to electric transportation by making electric vehicles available at a low cost. A total of 10 cities in the U.S. are taking part, with Charlotte being the only one in the Southeast.

The city partnered with Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the Centralina Regional Council to make the program happen. It’s a part of an effort that is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The program will launch in July 2023. Residents and staff in five affordable housing developments will have access to 10 EV’s.

The final touches of the program are pending. The five developments that have committed to represent 538 housing units and eligible residents with a driver’s license will get the first opportunity yo test-drive the vehicles.

After the testing period is over, residents can reserve vehicles online and rent them at a small hourly rate or daily fee, according to the city.

There are two years worth of funding, but the program is designed to have a self-funded model down the road.

In recent years, the state of North Carolina has made an effort to shift to electric transportation.

“With Governor Cooper’s administration’s focus on the rapid and equitable shift to electric transportation, this innovative project will serve as a model for wider-scale EV sharing in underserved communities across the state,” said Stan Cross, Electric Transportation Policy Director at SACE.

The program also hopes to address the lack of charging options in multi-unit housing. The AMP will install two EV chargers at each housing location, which will come equipped with two ports.

“Because transportation makes up 40% of Charlotte’s total greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonizing this sector through electrification is a critical strategy for a low carbon future,” said Sarah Hazel, chief sustainability and resiliency officer at the City of Charlotte.

The hope for the project is that with low-cost vehicles made available, there wil be an increase access to clean transportation.

(WATCH BELOW: Renderings of Charlotte’s first electric fire station released)

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