Advocating for EV Charger Reliability at the Maryland PSC

The Maryland Public Service Commission met this morning to approve an implementation of Electric Vehicle Charging Program Offerings by BGE, Pepco and Delmarva Power. Among other things, it will provide rebates for residential charging stations and sets the rate for utility-owned public charging stations at $0.18/kWh for Level 2 and $0.34/kWh for DC Fast Charging.

52-81% of US apartment dwellers with BEVs rely solely on public charging according to a Jan. 2019 report. Reliability is critical for these folks. I spoke to the Commissioners today to stress the need for better accountability for companies that use public or ratepayer funding to provide EV charging. [Link to YouTube Video]

Here’s a transcript of those remarks.

Joint Utilities Compliance Filing Regarding Implementation of Approved Electric Vehicle Charging Program Offerings. Case No. 9478.

My name is Lanny Hartmann. I drive an electric car. I appreciate the opportunity to make a few comments from an EV driver’s point of view.

I want to focus on one segment of people who drive battery-only electric cars and don’t have access to charging at home or at work and who rely solely on public EV charging.

The proposed flat rate of 34 cents per kWh [for DC fast charging] is in a range that I think is fair. I’d point out that the cost to use a Tesla Supercharger is only 28 cents per kWh. And Tesla delivers a very reliable service at that price.

Customers of utility-owned chargers need to have a high degree of confidence that they can rely on them. Otherwise, this pilot won’t succeed.

There was an article Saturday in the Carroll County Times about this EV charging program. There’s a quote from BGE about the maintenance of the chargers saying, “BGE is being held to the same reliability standards as our electric distribution system, so they must be operational at all times.”

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Oakland Mills Village Center Gets EV Charging Station

The Other Barn Oakland Mills EV charging
The Other Barn in Oakland Mills Village, Columbia, MD

The Columbia Association has installed a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station in the Oakland Mills Village Center in Columbia, Maryland. It is located at 5851 Robert Oliver Pl., behind The Other Barn, which serves as the Oakland Mills Community Center.

This is the sixth EV charging location installed by the Columbia Association since they began their EV charging initiative in February, 2013. The other CA locations with EV charging are Owen Brown Community Center, Columbia Gym, Supreme Sports Club, Athletic Club (2), and Long Reach Tennis Club (2).

Columbia Association still needs to post signage at this EV charging station. This will bring it into alignment with the Howard County Anti-ICEing ordinance allowing police to ticket violators.

The price to use this station is $0.20 per kWh and you need a ChargePoint account to initiate a session.

Tesla Supercharger in the Outer Banks

OBX Supercharger
Kill Devil Hills Tesla Supercharger at Harris Teeter Grocery Store (photo by Laurie Y.)

Beach goers to the Outer Banks of North Carolina now have a Tesla Supercharger in Kill Devil Hills.

In the past, Tesla drivers who visited the Outer Banks had few choices to recharge. Some used the NEMA 14-50 outlets at the local RV campground. Others plugged in to a 120v outlet during their stay in order to make it back to the Norfolk, VA Supercharger. In 2015, Tanger Outlets installed Level 2 charging stations, the first public EV charging on the Outer Banks. Recently, Tesla destination charging has been growing in the OBX including at the Outer Banks Brewing Station.

The eight stall Supercharger is located in the parking lot of the Harris Teeter grocery store at 2012 S Croatan Hwy near milepost 9.5 on the U.S. Hwy 158 bypass.

The Kill Devil Hills Supercharger has been powered up for about a week but it’s now officially on the Tesla Navigation screen.

Fast Chargers at Columbia, Maryland Walmart

Electric Vehicle charging stations are being installed in the parking lot of Walmart in Columbia, Maryland. There’s a permit to install 12 charging stations and 3,000 Amp service at the Walmart at 6405 Dobbin Rd, Columbia, MD according to records from Howard County Department of Inspections, Licenses & Permits.

Trenching has begun and equipment is already on site ready to be installed. Crates are labeled “CHAdeMO” and “CCS.” This is likely going to be an Electrify America site. Walmart is a partner with Electrify America although Columbia Maryland is not mentioned on their map of planned locations.

Thanks @BraveRock for the tip. Stay tuned for updates.

Hanover Maryland Supercharger Under Construction

A Tesla Supercharging Station is under construction in the parking garage for the Hotel at Arundel Preserve in Hanover, Maryland. There is equipment on site for eight urban-style Supercharger stalls on the third floor of the garage along the northwest side.

Garage Also Has Level 2 Charging

This garage has ChargePoint Level 2 charging stations on the ground floor that have been there since February, 2012. The original ChargePoint equipment was recently replaced.

Close to The Boring Company Dig Site

This Supercharger is less than a mile north of the Boring Company site that Governor Larry Hogan visited in October, 2017 where digging will reportedly occur for the DC to Baltimore Loop tunnel.

The Tesla “Find Us” web page shows that a Supercharger is targeted to open in Hanover, MD in 2019. Tesla also has a Supercharger under construction in Riverdale Park, MD that appears to be close to being finished. Stay tuned.

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SemaConnect Personal Charging Stations for Apartments and Condos

SemaConnect Apartment and Condo EV charging
photo: courtesy of SemaConnect

Individually Billed EV Charging for Multi-Family Housing

A large portion of the population in the US lives in multi-unit housing such as an apartment or condo. The parking arrangements in these communities can make it difficult to install a dedicated electric vehicle charging station. Some states have Right to Charge laws that make it easier to get approval for putting in charging equipment from their Condo or HOA board.

SemaConnect now offers an option to help property managers of multi-unit housing to offer dedicated personal charging stations to residents. SemaConnect’s new Series 5 Personal Charging Station is designed to be used by EV drivers that have a dedicated parking space in a multi-unit housing community. The unit supports electricity metering and billing directly to the EV driver. Property managers can now supply EV charging and get reimbursed for the electricity and service used by residents.

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Mount Rushmore Solar Canopy and EV Charging Stations

Mount Rushmore Solar Canopy and EV charging sttions
photo: Xanterra Travel Collection

The Four Presidents on Mt. Rushmore Look Upon a More Sustainable Future

Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota will have the second largest solar installation in the state. The new Thomas Jefferson Solar Canopy was installed by park concessioner Xanterra Travel Collection which operates the parking facility.  The photovoltaic array on the top level of the parking structure will generate over half of the electricity used by the gift shop and restaurant at Mount Rushmore. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Earth Day, April, 22, 2019.

Six electric vehicle charging stations are planned to be installed within the next month. Tesla donated three Tesla chargers and three universal Level 2 charging stations that will be free for visitors to use. There is a fee to park at Mount Rushmore National Memorial which is valid for the calendar year issued.

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2019 Maryland Electric Vehicle Legislation Wrap-up

Maryland State House

Hydrogen Fuel Cells, EV Tax Credit & Electric School Bus Bills Advanced

The 90-day Maryland lawmaking session adjourned yesterday at midnight. PlugInSites has been tracking over a dozen electric vehicle related bills in Annapolis since the General Assembly convened in January. Three of them managed to pass both chambers and are headed to Governor Hogan to sign.

The Clean Cars Act of 2019, HB 1246, was a collaboration between Governor Hogan’s Administration and Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo. It will expand the state’s efforts to support Zero Emission Vehicles to include Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars. The role of Maryland’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (EVIC) will begin to include promoting the utilization of fuel cell electric vehicles as well as plug-ins. The council will be renamed the Maryland Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (ZEEVIC).

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ChargePoint Loses Appeal in EV Charging Patent Case

ChargePoint v SemaConnect Appeal

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Ruling in Favor of SemaConnect

Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the decision of a lower court in a dispute over an EV charging patent case brought by electric vehicle charging company ChargePoint, Inc. of Campbell, CA against a competitor, SemaConnect, Inc. of Bowie, MD.

Just over one year ago, Judge Marvin J. Garbis, of the U. S. District Court in Baltimore dismissed a lawsuit brought by ChargePoint that alleged that SemaConnect had infringed four patents in the area of networked electric vehicle charging stations. The lower court judge found all of the patent claims asserted by ChargePoint were invalid.

The judge had agreed with SemaConnect’s defense that the patents were invalid because the claims were drawn to an abstract idea, and the method of implementing those claims was not enough to transform the abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.

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Annapolis, MD Supercharger is Open

Annapolis, MD Supercharger

The Annapolis, MD Supercharger at Annapolis Towne Centre is now officially on the map. It’s located on the second floor of the parking garage at 217 Harker Place across from Target.

Annapolis fills the gap between the Laurel Supercharger and the Tesla Supercharger in Grasonville, which is at a Royal Farms on the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Construction on the Tesla Supercharger in Annapolis began in May, 2018. The installation has, by all outward appearances, been completed since last summer. The site took many months to finally come online. The Anne Arundel County Department of Inspections and Permits website (Permit No. E02332269) shows records of a long delay between a successful progress inspection on June 18, 2018 to a series of failed final inspections recorded between July 17, 2018 and March 4, 2019.

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