Electric vehicles (EVs) are advancing the future of clean transportation. Unlike gas cars which have to be driven to gas stations for re-fueling, EVs charge when parked at a charging station, which can be as simple as a household or garage wall outlet (Level 1). For faster charging, special electricity supply equipment (EVSE) installed at workplaces and public locations (Level 2) and special high speed (Level 3) charging allows for re-fueling of many EVs in 15-30 minutes. Maryland is one of the key States in the U.S. that is leading EV infrastructure development, including with a network of Level 3 fast-charging stations.
As our lives and vehicles become more and more mobile, as well as connected to the internet, electricity and energy management are more critical to how we live, work, play and connect. A number of technologies have emerged in transportation to advance how we use, store and conserve energy as we drive. Here are some examples and blends of energy conserving technologies used today:
- BEV – Battery operated without gas boost or range extension (Tesla, Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, e-golf, Smart EV)
- PHEV – Plug-in hybrid uses battery and combustion engine (Toyota Prius PHEV, Ford C-Max)
- EREV - Electric drive with on-board generator to re-charge battery with gas if needed to extend battery and driving range, also uses regenerative breaking (Chevy Volt)
On average, Americans drive less than 40 miles per day. Most BEVs can travel close to 75 miles on a fully charged battery, making them a good option for many motorists. PHEVs offer longer ranges without the need to stop to charge up. Many PHEV and EREV vehicles can travel between 20 and 35 miles on pure electricity before switching to gas.
Recent advances in EV and battery technology by Tesla Motors allows their 2015 S model Tesla to achieve a 260 mile driving range. Tesla Motors April 30, 2015 announcement that the company would be selling a home energy storage unit called Powerwall, with deliveries beginning Summer 2015, could allow EV drivers a way to charge their vehicles at night with home solar power generated during the day fulfilling the promise of a nearly carbon neutral vehicle solution.
As battery technology improves, sales volume grows, and charging solutions expand, EVs and hybrid vehicles will become more and more competitive with combustion engine models in terms of cost.
Other EV Resources:
Maryland Freedom Fleet Voucher (FFV) Program
The Maryland FFV Program provides financial assistance to drivers who purchase new and converted alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) registered in Maryland and use them for public, commercial, or nonprofit agency purposes.
Utility Plug-In Vehicle Charging Pilot
Pepco and BGE offer Plug-In Vehicle Charging Pilots to help drivers save money and reduce the strain on the electric grid. To qualify, drivers must meet the following requirements:
- Be a Maryland residential customer of Pepco or BGE
- Have a BEV or PHEV that can travel a minimum of 30 miles powered by electricity
- Have your EV registered in Maryland
Starting on July 1, 2014, and continuing through June 30, 2017, the Maryland Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Tax Credit Program will accomplish the following:
- Offer a tax credit on the purchase of a PHEV for 3 years
- Increase the tax credit provided for most vehicles
- Enhance incentives for the purchase and installation of EV recharging station equipment
The new tax credit is based on a vehicle’s battery size; the credit can be as high as $3,000. As part of the program, residential customers, commercial entities, retail service stations, and local and state governments can receive rebates of up to 50% of costs, with varying caps. For more information, see updates on the following State and Maryland EV websites: