Niner-developed EV battery charging station wins Clean Cities award

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EPIC’s PoleVoltTM received the Clean Cities/Clean Fuels Coalition Award from Centralina Regional Council last week on February 8. The recognition, part of the “Region of Excellence” awards program, supports regional partnerships to promote clean fuels and energy efficient mobility options.

Phillip Harmon, pictured with EPIC’s Assistant Director of Economic and Workforce Development Carolyn Keith, accepted the award on behalf of EPIC from Mooresville Commissioner / Centralina Board of Delegates Chair Bobby Compton and Centralina Regional Council Regional Planner Megan Upchurch.

Harmon, along with Grady Harwood, a fellow undergraduate student in William States Lee College of Engineering, led the development of the project’s cloud-based software. These two Niner Engineers were an integral part of the research and development team at UNC Charlotte, led by Rob Cox, Associate Director of EPIC.

The real world research by Harmon, Harwood and the full team significantly contributes to clean, equitable transportation in the Charlotte area that expand opportunity and improve the quality of life of local residents.

“The Charlotte region is stepping up to be a national leader in clean energy advancements, especially in North Carolina, which has quickly become a hub for the EV industry. EPIC is deeply embedded in that leadership,” said Cox, “We are partnering with industry, as well as government and community partners like Centralina Regional Council, to address socioeconomic challenges with energy utilization technology. We appreciate the recognition of this award, and share the honor with our partners.”

PoleVoltTM has been curbside in the historic West End Neighborhood of Charlotte for one year, testing the infrastructure and technology usage, gathering data and raising community awareness. By using the city’s existing infrastructure and designed for increased public access and mobility, PoleVoltTM supports equity, economic development and transportation solutions for smart cities.

“Congratulations to all of our Region of Excellence Award winners for making significant and positive advancements in our region,” said Geraldine Gardner, Executive Director of Centralina. “We are excited to celebrate the successful initiatives, collaboration, and innovative local government action that make our region a better place to live and work.”

In November 2022, PoleVoltTM was recognized with Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award.

In February 2022, PoleVoltTM was unveiled at the Ritz at Washington Heights park.

About PoleVoltTM
Researchers and students at UNC Charlotte’s EPIC, in partnership with Centralina, the City of Charlotte and Duke Energy, have developed the nation’s first universal EV charging solution of its kind. Funded by the Department of Energy, the streetside technology draws power from existing light poles, provides affordable EV charging access to residents of apartments and multi-family housing.

About Centralina
Centralina Regional Council is a public organization that was established to serve the needs of the greater Charlotte region, including Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties. Its mission is to lead regional collaboration and spark local action to expand opportunity and improve quality of life. The organization is governed by a Board of Delegates, comprised of local government members, and is one of 16 regional councils in North Carolina enabled by the General Assembly. For more information, visit