Could western Maryland finally be getting DC Fast Charging? It’s been promised for years. Way back in April, 2014, then Maryland Attorney General, Doug Gansler, announced a $1 million grant program to build a statewide network of DC Fast Chargers that specifically included the western counties. That Maryland Fast Charging money was spent entirely between Hagerstown and Ocean City.
Recently, two Fast Chargers were built in Hancock, MD, about 20 miles west of Hagerstown. These are welcome, but it still leaves a lot of miles and elevation gain for EV drivers traveling to the mountains of Garrett and Allegany counties.
Potomac Edison has identified nine areas in their electric utility service area in Maryland where they wish to place public Fast Chargers under a pilot program approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission. They include, McHenry, Grantsville, Cumberland, Hancock, Thurmont, Frederick, Myersville, Mt. Airy and Urbana.
According to a report filed with the PSC, Potomac Edison is in the design phase to place two Fast Chargers and a Level 2 at the Deep Creek Visitors Center in McHenry. They are also working to place two Fast Chargers at a park on Main Street in Hancock, a few blocks from the existing pair of chargers.
The report stated that the utility has faced challenges in finding suitable sites with close proximity to the highway with amenities like restaurants nearby that also meet the requirement by the PSC that they be on government owned property.
Electrify America is building an electric vehicle charging station in Ellicott City, Maryland. The chargers are being installed in the south east corner of the Walmart at 3200 N Ridge Rd.
It appears that there will be four chargers on two side-by-side islands. There are four dispensers seen onsite, shown in the photo above.
Second EA Site in Howard County
An Electrify America charging station opened at the Walmart on Dobbin Rd. in Columbia, MD in November, 2019. That site is the largest CCS/CHAdeMO fast charging site in Maryland with ten stalls, delivering up to 350 kW.
Five other Electrify America sites are open in Maryland. They are in Abingdon, Hagerstown, Clarksburg, and Bowie. There are also at least three other Electrify America sites currently under construction in Maryland including Frederick, Arundel Mills and Annapolis. We don’t yet know when the Ellicott City site will open. Stay tuned.
Downtown Columbia, Maryland is a hotbed of electric vehicle charging station growth. In February this year, 40 charging ports came online in the Merriweather District Garage near the Merriweather Post Pavilion concert venue.
The stations at the apartments may be there to satisfy the Howard County EV-Ready ordinance that became effective in January, 2019. That new law requires the developer to put in at least one EV charging station for each 25 living units for newly constructed multi-residential buildings. It looks like the developer is working toward LEED Gold certification so that may be a factor in placing a few extra charging ports beyond the EV-Ready requirement.
Just down the street from Merriweather, BGE installed six charging stations at the Howard County Library Central Branch. These utility-owned public charging stations are part of a five-year ratepayer-funded pilot program approved by the Public Service Commission in 2019. The Level 2 stations at the library cost $0.18/kWh. That price may change periodically in response to market conditions subject to review by regulators.
Locations by Nordstroms and the Cheesecake Factory
The Mall in Columbia is within a short walk of the library. Volta Charging has started construction on a series of free EV charging stations at different spots around the mall. According to a permit issued by Howard County on May 22nd, they are working on 14 new electric car charging stations. Among the areas marked for construction is in front of Nordstroms and by the Cheesecake Factory.
An Electrify America charging station is being built at the Walmart at 7400 Guilford Dr. in Frederick, MD. Construction is underway on the eastern side of the store at the edge of the parking lot. It appears that there will be four chargers situated on two islands. The charging dispensers are not yet on site.
A BGE EVsmart public charging site is coming to the Glenwood Branch of the Howard County Library System and Gary J. Arthur Community Center. The utility owned and operated charging stations are installed, but not yet operational as of May 20, 2020. There are two DC Fast Chargers and six Level 2 ports in the north east corner of the main parking lot. [map link]
Liquid-Cooled Fast Chargers
The two 50 kW fast chargers are liquid-cooled Tritium Veefil TRI93-50-01-US models. This is a departure from the Efacec QC45 quick chargers used in earlier BGE installations such as Westminster and Ellicott City. Having multiple fast chargers at the Glenwood site should help bolster EV drivers’ confidence because they will know that if one fast charger is occupied or inoperable, they have an alternative fast charger to try.
Usage Fees Paid via Greenlots
The BGE fast chargers have a fee of $0.34 per kWh. The Level 2 charging costs $0.18 per kWh. Those fees are subject to change with the approval of the Maryland Public Service Commission which regulates the utilities. Payment is via a Greenlots account.
New Tesla Superchargers Coming Soon to the Washington, DC Area
Tesla has been busy adding more Superchargers around the greater Washington, DC area. Last month, the first Supercharger inside the District of Columbia opened in the garage of a Safeway store on Wisconsin Ave, NW. A second Tesla Supercharger in the District is currently under construction in the Fort Lincoln area of NW. Tesla apparently still has crews working at Supercharger construction sites where proper personal distancing can be practiced.
Listed below are the sites that have begun construction the Washington, DC area including the western suburbs in Virginia and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UPDATE, May 28, 2020: added White Marsh, MD & Falls Church, VA. July 16, 2020: Chantilly and Vienna are open.
Washington, DC – NE 12 stalls, 250 kW at Shops at Dakota Crossing
Baltimore, MD – Canton 12 stalls, 250 kW at Harris Teeter
Falls Church, VA 8 stalls, 250 kW at Idylwood Plaza
Chantilly, VA 8 stalls, 250 kW at Royal Farms (open)
Vienna, VA 8 stalls, 250 kW at Wawa (open)
Reston, VA 8 stalls, 250 kW at Reston Station (open)
White Marsh, MD 8 stalls, 250 kW at Royal Farms (open)
A Tesla Supercharger is planned for a Sheetz store in Dahlgren, VA.
According to a King George County Building Official contacted by Mark Czajka of MD Volt, Inc., a permit application was submitted yesterday for the Sheetz at 17188 Owens Drive. This location is about 2 miles west of the Harry W. Nice Bridge over the Potomac. Link to Map
This Supercharger will be convenient for Tesla drivers that travel Route 301 through Charles County Maryland and into Virginia.
High’s Ice Cream was a memorable part of my childhood growing up in Virginia. My grandmother would drive us to the local store and we’d sit on the Naugahyde covered stools and order a special treat. My favorite flavor was Butter Brickle.
Now, it seems the old ice cream stores that I remember are gone but the High’s brand lives on as a convenience store chain complete with banks of gasoline pumps. A new High’s store just opened in Jessup, Maryland that portends yet another new direction for the 92 year old company.
Electron Filling Station
The Jessup store has DC fast chargers for filling electric cars with electrons. The two chargers are installed next to the automatic car wash across the parking lot from the row of gas pumps.
A BGE EVsmart public charging site is coming to Ellicott City, Maryland. The utility owned and operated DC Fast Charger and four Level 2 ports are installed, but not yet operational. They were spotted by EV driver @splat who alerted @PlugInSites on Twitter. They’re located in the parking lot of the Miller Branch of the Howard County Library and 50+ Center at 9421 Frederick Rd.
Utility Owned & Operated
The 50 kW charger is an Efacec QC45 model, the same unit as the BGE quick charger in Westminster that opened in December. I hope this charger will be reliable and fixed quickly if it fails. The only backup on site are the adjacent Level 2 ports. There is no redundant fast charger.
I’ve testified before the Maryland Public Service Commission on reliability issues and other challenges that EV drivers face when depending on public charging infrastructure. See: To the Maryland Public Service Commission from an EV Driver. Hopefully utility ownership can help solve these issues.
Signs Required for ICEing Enforcement
Signage at this location will be crucial. Howard County has an anti-ICEing law that EV advocates worked to get passed in 2014. In order to be enforceable, the ordinance requires that appropriate signs must be posted. Appropriate signs means they must be at least 12 inches by 18 inches and meet any applicable state or federal standards for parking control signs.
The BGE fast chargers have a fee of $0.34 per kWh as approved by regulators. Level 2 costs $0.18 per kWh. Those fees are subject to change with the approval of the PSC. EV drivers pay via a Greenlots account. Video.
More BGE Stations Planned
BGE plans to operate up to 500 public charging stations in their Maryland service area. About 20% of those may be fast chargers. The utility-operated charging stations must be located on property owned or controlled by state, county, or local governments per the terms of the PSC Order.