Duke Energy Corp. DUK has recently announced plans to electrify its current 10,000-vehicle fleet by 2030. As part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050, Duke Energy already has approximately 600 electric vehicles (EVs) in its fleet and will continue to pursue vehicle electrification.
Duke Energy’s Vehicle Electrification Strategy
Duke Energy has recently pledged to convert 100% of its nearly 4,000 light-duty vehicles to electric and 50% of its nearly 6,000 combined fleet of medium-duty, heavy-duty and off-road vehicles to EVs. The company also plans to convert its off-road vehicle fleet to electric, plug-in hybrid or other carbon-free alternatives by 2030.
By 2030, the company anticipates a reduction in CO2 emissions by 60,000 metric tons and petroleum usage by 10 million gallons annually. This initiative will further be beneficial in reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM) emissions.
Duke Energy’s Recent Initiatives
To achieve the aforementioned targets, Duke Energy launched a pilot program named the Park and Plug program in 2018 to expand access to EV charging stations in Florida. More than 530 EV chargers (Level 2 and Fast Chargers) are being added in public spaces and thoroughfares in Florida.
Duke Energy has also applied for pilot programs in the Carolinas and Ohio, which are pending commission approvals. The Park and Plug program in Florida and the pilot programs in the Carolinas and Ohio, if approved, will add approximately 5,700 EV chargers to the company’s service areas, including about 2,200 residential EV chargers.
Other Utilities Investing in EV
The adoption of electric vehicles over the next decade will be instrumental in cutting down carbon emissions, alongside being cost effective. Notably, per a report by Markets and Markets, the electric vehicles market is projected to reach 26,951,318 units by 2030 from 3,269,671 units in 2019, at a CAGR of 21.1%.
Such projections might have encouraged utilities like Duke Energy to invest significantly in EVs.
Edison International's EIX subsidiary, Southern California Edison (SCE), has planned to electrify 100% of its light-duty vehicles, 30% of medium-duty vehicles, 8% of heavy-duty vehicles and 60% of forklifts by 2030. Meanwhile, in order to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in California, Pacific Gas & Electric PCG is set to install up to 7,500 Level 2 EV chargers through its EV Charge Network program by 2020.
In February 2020, the Public Utility Commission of Oregon approved Portland General Electric's POR transportation electrification (TE) plan, opening an opportunity for the utility to propose residential and public charger programs, which will help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in the territory.
Zacks Rank & Price Performance
Duke Energy carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
In the year-to-date period, shares of the company have lost 10.1% compared with the industry’s 15.4% decline.
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