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Duke Energy And Progress Energy Contribute to Advanced Transportation Center at NCSU; Focus on Plug-in Hybrids

North Carolina Governor Mike Easley announced the creation of an Advanced Transportation Energy Center (ATEC) at North Carolina State University. The center, a public-private partnership to include the university, Progress Energy and Duke Energy, is to focus on research to advance more widespread use of plug-in hybrid vehicles, particularly the development of a reliable and dependable source of portable power for electric vehicles.

The ATEC will seek to:

  • Develop batteries that are more powerful and less costly (it currently costs about $10,000 to convert a hybrid to a plug in. The goal is to cut that cost to a more consumer-friendly amount); and

  • Create the infrastructure to make use of electric vehicles, including convenient charging stations, etc.

The announcement came during the annual Institute for Emerging Issues’ conference: “North Carolina’s Energy Futures; Realizing a State of Opportunity.”

The ATEC will cost an estimated $5 million to start, with an additional $1 million required annually. Duke and Progress will each invest $1.5 million in the project over five years.

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) characterizes itself as a “think-and-do tank”focused on tackling big issues that affect North Carolina’s future growth and prosperity.



Duke was part of the let's deregulate everything so we can game the system and make a bundle with Enron.

They have done some interesting work in solar thermal collectors. Maybe they are trying to make amends for past transgressions.


I think the explanation is much simpler. Plug in hybrids are good for business if your business is making, transporting, and selling electricity.


You are probably right. The deregulation that Duke, Enron and others promoted in states required the power companies to sell most of their electricity producing assets.

PG&E and others kept their nuclear and hydro assets, but sold off their gas turbine generators to Enron and others at low prices because they were required to by law. The laws that Enron helped write.


Plug in's are heaven sent if you are a power generator as they can use your night time electricity.

It only makes sense to promote plug-in's - hybrids generate their own on-board electricity and do not use the grid.

Even small battery plug-in's could use some night rate juice and increase the utilization of the plant.

A ten mile range plug-in could handle most of the stop-start bits of journeys and reduce fuel costs over a conventional hybrid.


I agree. Even short range gets people into the habit of recharging and thinking about all the gasoline that they are NOT buying.

As battery technologies advance, they can put more of them in their PHEVs. If the car makers are smart, they will offer this and have policies that deal with after market.

People want options, especially options that they do not have to pay for. So if plug in capability appears to come free and I can upgrade whenever I want, it becomes a competitive feature that all are forced to offer.

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