Maryland Buy Local Week & Sykesville EV Charging

July 17-25, 2021 is “Maryland Buy Local Week.” This initiative is to celebrate and support Maryland farmers, watermen, and food producers. Consider taking the Buy Local Challenge which is to enjoy least one Maryland grown or produced food or beverage each day during Buy Local Week.

Purchasing items at Farmers Markets is a great way to support local businesses. Driving your electric car to the Farmers Market is a great way to get there.

Sykesville, Maryland Farmers Market

Downtown Sykesville Farmers Market is open each Sunday from 9 AM to 1 PM, May through October.

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Howard County Police Add Electric Vehicles to Fleet

HoCoMD Police Electric Vehicle

Howard County, Maryland is adding hybrid and electric vehicles to their fleet as older vehicles are rotated out of service.

The County is assigning 111 Hybrid Ford Explorers to the Police and Sheriff’s Departments. More than one third of Howard County’s patrol fleet is now hybrid. This is said to be the largest number of hybrids in a patrol fleet by any jurisdiction in Maryland.

Howard County has also put five new Nissan Leafs into service, along with six all-electric Zero motorcycles.

In a video produced by the Howard County Government, the County’s Fleet Administrator demonstrates the new vehicles to Howard County Executive, Calvin Ball.

Fuel Savings

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Coast-to-Coast Group Tour in the First Supercharged Summer

Roseville, CA Supercharger

On July 12th, 2014, a group of Tesla enthusiasts embarked on a 3,605-mile journey from Delaware to California via the first coast-to-coast Supercharger route. That year was the first time in history that the coast-to-coast “Great American Road Trip” could easily be done in an electric car. Tesla had just completed building their first cross-continent Supercharging route and the TeslaRoadTrip “Supercharging Across America” group were eager to give it a go.

California or Bust!

The destination was the Tesla Motors Club TMC Connect conference in Monterey, California with a big outdoor picnic the night before the conference.

The convoy pulled out of the Newark, DE Supercharger with the cars covered in decals and headed across Maryland and Pennsylvania on the first day out. Other Teslas joined the group as they made their way across the USA. The daily destinations for the six-day trip were: Maumee, OH, Albert Lea, MN, Lusk, WY, Green River, UT, Barstow, and Roseville, CA.

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East Coast Tesla Superchargers Eight Year Anniversary

Newark, DE and Milford, CT Superchargers Opened Eight Years Ago

Newark Superchargers. photo: @Lanny, Feb. 16, 2013

The first Tesla Superchargers on the East Coast officially opened on December 21, 2012.

The Supercharger Stations at the Milford Travel Plazas on I-95 in Connecticut and at the Delaware Welcome Center in Newark were the seventh and eighth Supercharger Stations built by Tesla. These were also the first sites outside of California where the first six Superchargers opened a few months earlier. These two East Coast Superchargers enabled Model S drivers to travel between Washington, DC and Boston. Eight years later, in 2020, Tesla reports more than 2,000 Supercharger Stations are open across the globe.

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Supercharging Across America, Summer of 2014

Supercharging Across America Tesla

On the morning of July 12th, 2014, a group of Tesla enthusiasts gathered at Newark, DE to embark on a 3,605 mile cross country drive. That summer, the Great American Road Trip was finally electrified — empowered by the newly completed coast-to-coast Supercharger route.

It was California or Bust for the Tesla faithful. The destination was the annual TMC Connect conference held by the Tesla Motors Club in Monterey.

Five cars covered in decals formed a convoy as they left Newark. Others joined the parade as they made their way across the USA. Nightly stops were in Maumee, OH, Albert Lea, MN, Lusk, WY, and Green River, UT.

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Electric School Bus Pilot Coming to Howard County, Maryland

Electric School Bus Wilde Lake Middle School

Zero Emissions to Improve Air Quality

The Howard County Public School System plans to replace two diesel school buses with all-electric buses in a pilot program supported by a grant from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). The two zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) school buses will help improve air quality as well as support students’ environmental education.

The pilot project cost of $812,377 is funded in part by a $494,377 grant from an MDE program supporting ZEV infrastructure projects. Other funding comes from MBG Enterprises, an HCPSS bus vendor, which will contribute the equivalent cost of two conventional school buses. BGE is furnishing the electric vehicle charging equipment and installation.

This program represents an essential first step toward use of more environmentally friendly vehicles, which are so important both for the wellness of our students and community, and the health of our environment.

HCPSS Superintendent Michael J. Martirano

Electric School Bus Research and Education

One electric school bus will transport students attending Wilde Lake Middle School, Maryland’s first net zero school building. Students will use the electric school buses for energy research and conservation projects.

BGE will collect and analyze data to monitor the vehicles’ energy use and to assess grid balancing and peak load reduction.

Electric school buses will lead to cleaner air, a lower cost of operations and a stronger and more reliable electric grid for students, families and the entire county.

Divesh Gupta, Director of Strategy, BGE Utility of the Future

Howard County Supports EV Charging

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions of County government operations 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and to reach zero emissions by 2050.

The County has long been a supporter of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. On November 7, 2011, Howard County dedicated its first EV charging stations at their facility on Bendix Road. See: First Public Charging Stations in Howard County.

Howard County’s Office on Community Sustainability is currently collaborating with BGE to increase the number of EV charging stations the county. See: BGE Fast Chargers at Glenwood Library in Howard County.

100% Electric Maryland RTA Bus

Range Anxiety

The Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) of Central Maryland has at least one BYD 100% Electric bus in its fleet. I happened to spot one in Columbia, MD. Unfortunately, it was being hooked up to a tow truck.

According to the tow truck driver, the bus ran out of charge. How does that happen? Wouldn’t they plan it so that a bus has enough range to complete its route before it leaves the depot? Wouldn’t the bus driver notice that the battery gauge was getting low?

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Get Out and Drive… Electric

Map and mug. Get out and Drive Electric

Find New Plug In Sites

Ready for a weekend road trip? Sure, it’s the middle of January. But every season — winter, spring, summer or fall — is the season to drive electric. Grab a cup of coffee and a map, find out where the charging stations are, and get out and drive.

Electric road tripping is as old as the dawn of the automobile age. In 1908, Oliver P. Fritchle drove his “100-Mile Electric” from Nebraska to New York City and then to DC. He managed 2,140 miles in the open cockpit of his Victoria Coupe during the months of November and December. Fritchle survived the cold days and frigid nights with only a coat and lap blanket. [Fritchle Arrives in New York in an Electric]

More recently, a reporter for the same newspaper that reported Fritchle’s successful arrival in New York a century earlier, attempted to drive a Tesla up the east coast using the newly opened Superchargers in Delaware and Connecticut. The New York Times then published a photo of the red Model S on a flatbed truck with the headline, “Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway.” That controversial trip happened on January 23-24, 2013. Hard to believe it was seven years ago.

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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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