EV Adventure: Charging Up Along the Coast
Travel confidently with NC electric co-ops’ vehicle charging networkBy Jacob Bolin and Jonathan Susser
As the weather gets warmer, many of us have the beach on our minds. For drivers of electric vehicles (EVs), escaping to the North Carolina coast is becoming more convenient. Whether you’re planning a brief getaway or a longer road trip, you’ll find plenty of options to plug in thanks to expanding charging infrastructure from your local electric cooperatives and other groups and businesses.
Quick bite, fast charge
If you’re heading to Wilmington along I-40, how about a stop for lunch off Exit 385 at the Mad Boar Restaurant & Pub in Wallace? A fan favorite, Mad Boar hosts several DC fast chargers that offer the perfect opportunity to charge up while you eat or listen to live music. For Teslas, you’ll find eight Supercharger stalls, and for other EVs, there’s a ChargePoint station provided by Four County EMC.
“The electric vehicle charging stations located next to our Mad Boar restaurant have proven beneficial on so many levels,” says Mills Bryant, assistant director of hospitality. “Because we’re located right along Interstate-40, it’s the perfect stopping point for travelers headed to the nearby North and South Carolina beaches — or to any East Coast destination, for that matter. It’s awesome to see the charging stations full, and many of our customers tell us they schedule their travel and electric vehicle charging around a stop at Mad Boar!”
Recharge and recover
How would you like to wake up full of energy? With an EV, you can do just that (with a battery, of course). Level 2 charging is a great amenity for hotels and lodging establishments, letting your EV sip electrons overnight as you rest and dream about the day ahead.
When you’re journeying to North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, the Atlantis Lodge has you covered with two stations available for guests (your dog will love the venue, too). In North Topsail Beach, Hampton Inn Sneads Ferry has a publicly accessible charging station thanks to Jones-Onslow EMC.
Catching waves, fish and a plug
Halfway down Hatteras Island, you’ll find a ChargePoint DC fast charger. Installed by Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative in 2019, this central location by the Avon Fishing Pier puts you within walking distance of the water. You should have time to fit in a stroll or a round of mini-golf while your EV replenishes.
Because it’s a fast charger, remember to move your car when it’s done to let others take advantage.
If you’re seeking more adventure, hop across the street to Hatteras Island Boardsports, where you can rent a paddleboard, kayak or surfboard. And while you’re in the area, don’t miss Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in North America!
“We have drivers coming from all over the country,” says Laura Ertle, director of public relations and marketing at Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative. “We’ve also seen an increase in the variety of vehicles that are charging. When we first brought the chargers online, it was mostly Chevy Bolts and Teslas, but now we’re seeing everything from hybrid minivans to high-end, all-electric vehicles from Audi, Porsche and BMW.”
Admirers of Ocean Isle, Holden Beach and Emerald Isle shouldn’t feel left out, either. Brunswick Electric and Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative have installed Level 2 stations just minutes from the beach. With so much to see and explore, the time will fly by while your EV picks up a full charge.
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About the AuthorJacob Bolin and Jonathan Susser work for Advanced Energy, the Raleigh-based nonprofit energy consulting firm.
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