Electric vehicles (EVs) can save money in fuel and maintenance costs. EV motors react quickly compared to gas engine, making them quiet and fun to drive. They also reduce emissions that are harmful to our climate and reduce smog that can negatively affect health. EVs can even lower harmful nitrogen levels in the Chesapeake Bay. Currently, a third of nitrogen deposits to the Chesapeake Bay come from vehicles.
Here is an interesting page from the US Department of Energy about the benefits of plug-in electric vehicles.
As battery range continues to increase, electric vehicles will become even more attractive. Having the ability to charge at home instead of visiting the gas station is an extra benefit. Experts project that electric vehicles could make up 75% of vehicle sales by 2050. In the U.S., EV sales have grown an average of 32% annually from 2012-2016 and 40% over the fiscal year ending June 2017.
Howard County Innovative EV Readiness
As of January 11, 2019, new home construction in Howard County is required to be “EV-Ready,” meaning that it must include infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles. Installing EV infrastructure during construction is much more cost-effective than adding wiring later.
Howard County is the first jurisdiction in Maryland and one of the first in the U.S. to require that new residential construction with driveways or garages have the electric wiring to enable electric vehicle charging. Even more innovative, new multi-family residential building will be required to provide one EV charging station for every twenty-five residential units.
EV Charging Infrastructure
Howard County has about 20 charging stations and is adding more as new government building construction occurs. In addition, Howard County is participating in several programs to add even more capacity. Howard County government is partnering with BGE’s EVsmart program which is adding 500 electric vehicle ports in Maryland in the first phase. We are also in touch with Electrify America which installed high capacity charging in Columbia and Ellicott City and we are working with MDE on Maryland’s Volkswagen Mitigation Plan. These programs provide electric vehicle charging infrastructure to Howard County for little or no cost.
The partnership with BGE has added EV charging at the following public sites. BGE installed and will maintain them at no cost to County government. There are a mix of Level 2 and DC Fast Chargers.
- Miller Library/Ellicott City 50+ Center, 9421 Frederick Rd, Ellicott City
- Savage Library, 9525 Durness Lane, Laurel
- Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
- Glenwood Library, 2350 Roxbury Mills Rd, Cooksville
- Ascend One Building, 8930 Stanford Blvd, Columbia
- Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
- Ellicott City Courthouse, 3701 Courthouse Dr, Ellicott City
There are federal tax credits available for the purchase of an electric vehicle. Learn more about the federal tax credit here. The state tax credit expired in June 2020 but could be funded in the future. Learn more about other Maryland EV incentives here.
There are also incentives available for installing an electric vehicle charger on your property. There are rebates available to both residential customers and customers who own multi-family properties. BGE customers can learn more about this program, find out which chargers are eligible, and apply here. Pepco customers can learn more about their program, find out which chargers are eligible, and apply here.
How To Find Charging Stations
There are several websites/apps that can help you locate EV charging stations. These tools can provide you with valuable information, such as charging costs, parking costs, and availability and accessibility of the charger. PlugShare and ChargeHub are two great resources. BGE also has a tool for locating charging stations.