Fuel Cell Support Required in Maryland Clean Cars Act of 2019

Hydrogen Fueling Station
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has requested the Clean Cars Act of 2019 which proposes to increase the annual funding and expand the electric vehicle excise tax credit for electric vehicles to include the purchase of fuel cell electric vehicles. Funding would increase from $3,000,000 to $6,000,000 through fiscal year 2020.

As part of the proposal, Governor Hogan wants to alter the role and reconfigure the membership of the Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (EVIC) to additionally promote fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and hydrogen fueling infrastructure. The EVIC, created by legislation in 2011, is tasked with helping to increase the number of plug-in electric vehicles registered in the state and to increase the size of the publicly available EV charging network in order to help the state reach its clean air and greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The Clean Cars Act of 2019 (SB168 & HB151) would rename the EVIC to the Maryland Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Council. Three new members would be appointed by the Governor including representatives of manufacturers of fuel cell electric vehicle infrastructure equipment, manufacturers of fuel cell electric vehicles and a representative of the business community in the state.

Two current members would be removed, the representative of the Baltimore Electric Vehicle Initiative (BEVI) and one of the two representatives of electric companies. Pepco and BGE are both currently on the Council.

The Governor’s proposal changes a directive of the Council from “Develop charging solutions for existing and future multidwelling units” to, “Develop model procurement practices for light duty vehicles that include an evaluation of the vehicle lifecycle costs inclusive of estimated fuel cost over the anticipated life of the vehicle.”

The proposal removes the line from the directive, “Recommend a method of displaying pricing information at public charging stations.”

A total of three fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) have been sold in Maryland since 2011 according to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.(1) In contrast, around 15,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) have been sold in the state. There are 39 retail hydrogen fueling stations in the United States, all of them in California.(2)

(1) Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (2018). Advanced Technology Vehicle Sales Dashboard.
(2) According to the US Dept. of Energy Alternative Fuel Data Center.