Howard County Pledges to Increase Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging

December 2023

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced his support of workplace electric vehicle (EV) charging as the first public official in Maryland to sign the “Charge@Work” pledge. It is a part of a U.S. Department of Energy-funded initiative to help employers and public officials establish and expand workplace charging programs. Howard County is the first jurisdiction in the state and only the 15th nationwide to endorse the workplace charging pledge.

“As we remain focused on expanding energy independence, Howard County is leading by example to achieve our ambitious climate action goals, including the reduction of the County’s greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2030,” said Ball. “Because transportation accounts for more than half of Howard County’s greenhouse gas emissions, we remain committed to accelerating the adoption of EVs and increasing access to EV chargers both within the County government and in the community. Since 2019, we have increased the number of EV chargers on Howard County government property by more than sevenfold.”

The Howard County Climate Forward: Climate Action & Resiliency Plan that was released in June 2023 prioritizes increasing EV charging on County property and in the community by setting a goal of 400 publicly available charging stations County-wide by 2030. According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, there were more than 300 public charging ports in Howard County as of October 2023.

There are currently nearly 90 EV charging stations on Howard County-owned property alone, with more than 60 of those available to the public. Howard County is actively seeking federal, state, and private funding to support EV charging infrastructure expansion and is partnering with Maryland Energy Administration, Maryland Department of Transportation and others to identify and prioritize sites for additional EV chargers on private and public properties.

EVs currently represent two percent of new residential vehicle purchases in the County, but Howard County Climate Forward aims to increase EV use in the community to at least 26 percent of passenger cars and eight percent of passenger trucks by 2030.

“Total plug-in vehicle registrations in Howard County have grown by nearly 50 percent over the past year, demonstrating a growing demand for EV charging locations,” said Tim Lattimer, Howard County Office of Community Sustainability Administrator. “By taking the Charge@Work pledge, we hope to unlock additional resources and assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate our efforts toward the HoCo Climate Forward goals.”

In 2019, Howard County became the first jurisdiction in Maryland and one of the first nationwide to require “EV-ready” wiring in new residential construction with driveways or garages. New multi-family residential buildings are required to provide one EV charging station for every 25 units.

Howard County is also taking bold steps to electrify its fleet vehicles. The official fleet currently includes more than 20 fully electric vehicles, six electric motorcycles and more than 200 hybrid vehicles. County Executive Ball has committed to transitioning the County’s entire administrative fleet to plug-in hybrid or fully electric vehicles by December of 2025.

“Electrifying Howard County fleet vehicles is a crucial component of our greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said Robert Phillips, administrator of the Howard County Office of Central Fleet. “Increasing workplace charging will help Howard County achieve its goal to reduce our fleet petroleum use by 20 percent by 2024.”

“The availability of workplace chargers is a critical issue for EV-driving employees, 60 percent of whom would benefit from chargers at work due to long commutes or a lack of at-home charging,” said Olivia LoGuidice, workplace EV charging project manager for clean transportation accelerator CALSTART, which administers the Charge@Work program. “Howard County’s commitment to the development of a robust charging infrastructure will help accelerate the adoption of EVs and contribute to improved local air quality, a healthier environment and happier employees.”

The County’s “Live Green Howard” website provides residents with information and resources about the benefits of EVs at https://livegreenhoward.com/electric-vehicles/.