Gaithersburg, MD Supercharger is Officially Open

The Gaithersburg, Maryland Tesla Supercharger is officially open. Several Tesla drivers reported the power being turned on and being able to charge Wednesday night, December 13, 2017. By Thursday afternoon, the Gaithersburg Supercharger was listed on the Tesla “Find Us” web page. The Supercharger became visible on the in-car Tesla Navigation screen several hours later.

The Supercharger station is located on the first floor of the parking garage at Rio Washingtonian Center, 9811 Washingtonian Blvd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878. It has 12 stalls with a pull-forward parking configuration and one stall is marked as ADA accessible. This station is one of only a few Superchargers to have a battery.

Other Tesla Superchargers to open recently in the Washington, DC area, include National Harbor and Grasonville, Maryland.

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Fritchle 2,140 Mile Electric Tour Ends in Washington, DC

photo: O. P. Fritchle

On December 10, 1908 at 1:00 PM, Oliver Fritchle arrived in Washington, DC in his “100 Mile Fritchle Electric” completing a 2,140 mile trip from Lincoln, Nebraska. Nearly 60 years would go by until an electric vehicle would travel farther than Fritchle.

In September, 1967, the Arizona Public Service Co. bought an electric car called the MARS II built by Electric Fuel Propulsion Inc. in Detroit, Michigan and drove it 2,226 miles to Phoenix. It was promoted as “the first cross-country trip of an electric car in the United States.”

Coincidentally, O. P. Fritchle’s nephew, Merrill Fritchle, lived in Phoenix and read of the claim in the Arizona Republic. He contacted the paper and presented evidence that the first cross-country electric vehicle journey was actually accomplished by his late uncle, Oliver P. Fritchle 59 years earlier.

The Arizona Republic reviewed the documentation of Fritchle’s trip and on October 19, 1967, they published a story with details of Fritchle’s decades-old electric tour along with comments from his nephew, who said, “If my uncle was so far advanced with electric transportation 50 years ago, I wonder what refinements we might have today, had all the research gone toward electric propulsion, instead of gasoline.”


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1908: Fritchle 2,140 Mile EV Tour Came Through Maryland

Charging the “100-Mile Fritchle Electric” at Gilpins Falls in Cecil County, MD on Dec. 7, 1908

When Oliver P. Fritchle left Wilmington, Delaware the morning of December 7, 1908, he expected an easy 82 mile jaunt to Baltimore in his fully charged 100-Mile Fritchle Electric.

“O. P.” as his friends called him, was so confident in his car’s ability that he didn’t even bother to ask about charging stations that might be along the way.

Fritchle had already driven his Victoria coupe nearly 2,000 miles from Lincoln, Nebraska via New York City to demonstrate the durability and range of the electric vehicle that his company manufactured in Denver for wealthy customers which later included “The Unsinkable” Molly Brown. The only repairs the car had needed was fixing a flat tire in Illinois and a new set of camel’s hair brake linings after descending the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania.

With sparse electrical distribution in rural areas, Fritchle quickly learned how to handle “range anxiety” such as on the evening he found himself on a muddy road pushing to reach the town of Avoca, Iowa.

Fearing that with the many strains of the day the battery might run down completely before reaching Avoca, I asked the farmer to accompany me with a horse and wagon, that he might tow me if necessary. To this request his wife, who overheard the conversation, replied: “No, sir, Pa, you don’t dare tow one of them automobiles. Didn’t you just read in the Des Moines paper ’bout one of them things explodin’ and killin’ a man?” I endeavored to convince “Ma,” who was standing in the dim light in an adjoining room, with a bed quilt over her shoulders, that my auto was an electric machine, and that there was no danger of it exploding. But my pleading was all in vain, so I told them to go to hell, and started off alone, reaching Avoca at 10 0 ‘clock Sunday night.

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Covered Bridges of Perry County – Electric Vehicle Tour

Ready to explore the countryside in your electric vehicle? Here’s a sensational EV Tour if you like gliding silently through long narrow valleys past Amish buggies, stopping to watch hawks circle above Kittatinny Ridge and photographing charming red covered bridges nestled among picturesque farms. There are Tesla, CCS & CHAdeMO fast chargers and several Bed and Breakfasts with L2 destination charging to stretch this day trip into a weekend getaway.

Detailed route map
click image to open detailed route map

Click Here to Open Map

  • Distance: 215 miles
  • Charging Stations: Tesla Superchargers and 50 kW DC Fast Chargers (CCS/CHAdeMO) in Hagerstown, MD and Carlisle, PA. Level 2 destination charging for overnight guests at Mercersburg Inn and Carlisle House.
  • Highlights: 13 covered bridges, Waggoner’s Gap Hawk Watch, Boiling Springs Iron Furnace, Appalachian Trail, Historic Round Barn & Ski Liberty.

Pennsylvania has nearly 200 covered bridges, more than any other state. This tour visits nine bridges in PA plus four more in Maryland for a total of 13. The route shown on the map is a loop that begins near Frederick, Maryland, however, you can enter the route at any point. Read More …

EV Fast Chargers Open at Two Maryland Travel Plazas on I-95

Maryland House EV Charging Stations

It just got a little easier to travel up and down I-95 in the mid-Atlantic with an Electric Vehicle thanks to a public-private partnership that brings 26 EV fast charging spots to two travel plazas in Maryland.

In a ceremony at the Maryland House Travel Plaza in Aberdeen, Maryland, Department of Transportation (MDOT) Deputy Secretary R. Earl Lewis, Jr. announced that EV charging stations are now open at the Maryland House and Chesapeake House travel plazas on I-95 in northeast Maryland.

“With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, this is great news for our customers traveling up and down the I-95 corridor,” Deputy Secretary Lewis said. The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) and its partner Areas USA, which operates the Travel Plazas, worked with the Electric Vehicle Institute to install eight 50 kW Fast Chargers, four at Maryland House and four at Chesapeake House. The dual-port chargers which support both CHAdeMO and CCS standard connectors were funded with help from a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA).

Deputy Secretary Lewis added, “The charging stations are free to our customers, and you really can’t beat the convenience. You can grab a bite to eat inside the travel plaza while you’re waiting for your vehicle to charge.”
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Dunkin’ Donuts DC Fast Charger in Jeannette, PA

Grab a coffee and a Boston Kreme while you quick charge your Chevy Bolt EV, Nissan LEAF or other DC Fast Charger compatible Electric Vehicle at Dunkin’ Donuts at 6524 Lincoln Highway, Jeannette, Pennsylvania. MAP LINK

This charging station is about 25 miles east of downtown Pittsburgh on Rt. 30 which is also part of the old Lincoln Highway, the first coast-to-coast road, established in 1913 and designated as the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor for 200 miles in Western Pennsylvania.

This DC Fast Charger is on the EVgo charging network and has both CCS Combo and CHAdeMO connectors and is rated at 50 kW. A message on the screen notes that it is eligible for complimentary access for participants in the Nissan “No Charge to Charge” program.

In addition to the Jeannette store, Dunkin’ Donuts has fast chargers at Pittsburgh area locations in Aliquippa, Canonsburg, Crafton, Etna, Harmar, and West View.

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Martinsburg, WV Supercharger is Open

The Tesla Supercharger station in Martinsburg, West Virginia is officially open according to the Tesla “Find Us” web page on Friday, September 29, 2017. Martinsburg shows up on the Tesla Navigation screen as well.

The Martinsburg Supercharger is located at Sheetz #220, 1465 Edwin Miller Blvd, Martinsburg, WV 25401. It has eight stalls with four stalls designated as 15 minute General Parking.

Other Tesla Superchargers are under construction in the Mid-Atlantic, including one at National Harbor, and are anticipated to open soon.

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DC Fast Chargers at Maryland House Travel Plaza on I-95

UPDATE: Chargers are now open.

Four Universal DC Fast Chargers Installed

Four DC Fast Chargers have been installed at the Maryland House Travel Plaza on I-95 near Aberdeen, Maryland. These 50 kW fast chargers can be used by electric vehicles with CHAdeMO and SAE Combo (CCS) connectors including the Nissan LEAF, BMW i3 and Chevy Bolt EV.

The DC Fast Chargers are located on the north side of the building on the west side of the parking lot. As of September 24, 2017 they have not been powered on. The units seem to be operated by Electric Vehicle Institute (EVI) of Baltimore. There is a credit card payment mechanism on each unit but the price to charge is not shown. Read More …

Philadelphia Forms Electric Vehicle Policy Task Force

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council have formed the Electric Vehicle Policy Task Force, a panel that will guide future policy on electric vehicles and EV charging in Philadelphia.

“EVs are becoming progressively more common in Philadelphia, but increased EV use raises many complex questions,” said Michael Carroll, Deputy Managing Director for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems. “Drawing from a broad and diverse range of stakeholders, this task force will ensure that all perspectives are heard and that realistic, workable policies are set.”

The EV Policy Task Force is working to develop potential solutions and make policy recommendations to encourage electric vehicles as part of the City’s wider multimodal transportation strategy that encourages transit, walking and bicycling.

“I look forward to working with this Task Force to improve the City’s policies for EV usage,” said Councilman David Oh, a member of the Task Force. “I’m confident we can identify and implement policy best practices and infrastructure solutions that will encourage EV ownership while still safeguarding the needs of others.”

Another Task Force member, Councilman Mark Squilla, commented, “Establishing the Task Force with a broad array of perspectives is an important first step in the effort to create an EV policy that will work for all Philadelphians in the years to come.” Read More …

Howard County Drive Electric Week 2017 Celebration

Howard County, Maryland celebrated National Drive Electric Week at Clarksville Commons on Saturday, September 16, 2017.

Local EV drivers gathered in the courtyard with about a dozen electric cars representing a variety of plug-in electric vehicles that are available to buy or lease in Maryland, plus a unique home-built electric car made by a local enthusiast using batteries from a Nissan LEAF. The EV drivers happily explained their experience with electric cars to curious members of the community who streamed through the Commons all afternoon.

A representative from the Howard County Office of Community Sustainability explained the active role that the County is taking in supporting plug-in electric vehicles including charging stations at some County facilities, EVs in their fleet and new, all-electric buses with induction charging, the first of their kind in the nation.

In addition to the EV drivers, representatives from local dealerships were on hand including, Winn Kelly Chevrolet, Antwerpen Nissan and Apple Ford, to arrange test drives and explain the available federal and state tax incentives.

The host site, Clarksville Commons, is a retail and office complex developed by an electric vehicle owner who designed the facility with environmental sustainability as an important element. They offer four EV charging stations, solar panels help supply the power, and water collection and reuse are employed in the buildings.

There’s plenty of enthusiasm for electric vehicles in Howard County as shown by the energy of the attendees on Saturday. Expect to see more soon.

Lanny for @PlugInSites

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