When the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) held a hearing to decide on allowing utilities to provide EV charging, many parties with a vested interest showed up. There were the charging network companies, the utility companies, automobile manufacturers, industry consultants, lobbyists and trade associations, local government officials and more.
What I did not see on the agenda was a list of individuals from the public. Regular citizens. EV drivers. People like us. So, I called and asked if I could come speak. They put me on the “Additional Advocates and Consumer Panel.” I wanted to look the Commissioners in the eye and speak from the heart of the challenges that we face when depending on public charging infrastructure. Here’s a transcript of those comments.
Maryland PSC Case No. 9478 Hearing Sept 7, 2018, In the Matter of the Petition of the Electric Vehicle Work Group for Implementation of a Statewide Electric Vehicle Portfolio – Consumer Panel
My name is Lanny Hartmann, I live in Howard County, Maryland. I’ve been driving an electric car since April, 2012. My wife and I have two electric cars, we bought the first, which is an 80-mile all-electric battery-only car, and we also have a Tesla Model S that we’ve driven across the country, coast-to-coast, two times. We’ve driven that car to the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado and across Death Valley.
In those trips, we don’t know what range anxiety is. The Tesla private network is highly reliable and if a station happens to be out, it tells you right there on the screen, it will alert you, so that you can make preparations to skip over it.
Now, the question was asked, “has anybody ever pulled up to a station needing to charge and not been able to?” On these other stations that exist out there, unfortunately, the answer is yes.
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Charge your electric car while enjoying food and entertainment in the OBX
On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made their historic first flight in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. This is the 115th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ famous achievement and a good day to feature the electric vehicle charging stations at the Outer Banks Brewing Station which is located next to the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
The Outer Banks Brewing Station opened in March, 2001. Founders, Aubrey Davis and Eric Reese, incorporated environmental sustainability into the restaurant and brewery from the very beginning. The Outer Banks Brewing Station is the first wind-powered brewery in the United States. The same wind that made the conditions favorable for the Wright Brothers can now help power the EV charging stations that were installed as part of the Tesla destination charging program in 2017.
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Construction of New Supercharger Location at National Harbor has Begun
In October, the National Harbor website announced that the parking lot that contains the Tesla Superchargers will be closing. Apparently a new building will be constructed on the land where that parking lot now resides.
New Superchargers are to be installed at the Fleet Street Garage located just to the north of the current Tesla Supercharger lot in National Harbor. A permit for Tesla, Inc. was issued on November 8, 2018 for the “Installation and Use of Electric Car Charging Station and ancillary equipment inside existing parking garage.”
Today, there are signs of construction outside the north-west corner of the garage.
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110th Anniversary of an Epic Cross Country EV Tour
When Oliver P. Fritchle rode his 100-Mile Electric into New York City on November 28, 1908, it was a sensation.
1,800 miles from Lincoln, Nebraska. In an electric car! How was that possible?
The New York Times published a story under the headline: FROM NEBRASKA IN ELECTRIC AUTO – O. P. Fritchle Accomplishes Long Tour in Car of His Own Make.
The newspaper proclaimed, “Mr. Fritchle’s trip served the useful purpose of establishing the fact that an electric car, capable of going no more than 100 miles average on one charging, can actually be driven across the country and can find sufficient charging stations to keep it going.”
Fritchle staged his trip to demonstrate the long distance capability and durability of the electric car and batteries that his company manufactured in Denver. He had invited all other electric vehicle manufacturers to join him for a race between Lincoln, Nebraska and New York, saying they “should hail this opportunity for proving the efficiency of electric automobiles for touring purposes.” No one accepted the challenge so he set off alone. Read More …
If you plan to buy a plug-in electric vehicle in Maryland soon, you may have to wait until July to have your excise tax credit refund processed. According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, the funds for the current fiscal year are now depleted. The MVA says that no additional refunds will be processed until July, 2019 when they will then be processed in the order that the applications are received.
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Will Require EV Charging Infrastructure at New Residential Construction
Starting January 11, 2019, Howard County, Maryland will require electric vehicle charging infrastructure at all new residential construction. This includes one EV charging station for each 25 units at apartments, condominiums and hotels. Single family homes will have to be pre-wired for future installation of charging equipment.
Howard County is one of the first in the nation to enact an “EV-Ready” ordinance. Several cities in California have passed such legislation and Atlanta adopted an EV charging infrastructure readiness requirement for new construction in November, 2017.
The Howard County Council approved CB76-2018, sponsored by Councilwoman Jen Terrasa, on October 29, 2018. Councilwoman Terrasa stated, “This is an important move forward for electric vehicles and for the environment.”
The text of the bill can be found here.
City Traffic and Parking Commission Responds to New California Law
The City of Beverly Hills made changes to their Electric Vehicle Charging Policy on April 2, 2018 which were designed to encourage more efficient use of the city-operated 35 public charging stations. A controversial aspect of the new policy was to prohibit plug-in hybrid electric vehicles from using the charging stations.
The city also implemented EV charging fees, updated signs to reserve charging spots exclusively for battery-only electric vehicles and defined a new enforcement regulation to fine and/or tow all other vehicles including plug-in hybrids, gas-only vehicles and any all-battery EV that didn’t activate a charging session.
California State Senator Ricardo Lara, authored SB 1000 which contained a provision that barred local municipalities from restricting plug-in hybrids from using public EV charging stations funded using state or ratepayer money.
65850.9. (a) A city, county, or city and county shall not restrict which types of electric vehicles, including, but not limited to, plug-in hybrid vehicles, may access an electric vehicle charging station approved for passenger vehicles that both is publicly accessible and the construction of which was funded, at least in part, by the state or through moneys collected from ratepayers.
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An Important Move Forward for Electric Vehicles
Howard County, Maryland has passed legislation to require EV charging infrastructure at new residential construction.
This legislation is one of the first of its kind outside of California. In November, 2017, the city of Atlanta adopted an EV charging infrastructure readiness requirement for new construction. At the time, Georgia ranked second behind California for sales of electric vehicles.
The Howard County Council voted unanimously to approve CB76-2018 sponsored by Councilwoman Jen Terrasa who said, “This is an important move forward for electric vehicles and for the environment.”
A public hearing on CB76 was held on October 15, 2018 and brought out a number of EV drivers, future EV drivers and organizations such as the Howard County Citizens Association to testify in support of the bill.
The Maryland Building Industry Association (MBIA) and the Maryland Multi-Housing Association (MMHA) opposed the bill. Some of their concerns were addressed by an amendment that included language to clarify that the bill applied only to new construction.
Councilwoman Terrasa summarized the bill:
“This legislation does two things. For newly constructed communities with townhomes without garages or driveways, apartments, or condos, a community-accessible electric vehicle charging station must be installed at the ratio of 1 charging station per 25 units. For newly constructed single family homes or townhomes with garages or driveways, the developer is required to install what wiring so that the homeowner can easily complete the installation of a charging unit.”
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A Tesla Supercharger in the parking garage at 1641 Whetstone Way, Baltimore, Maryland is now open. There are eight stalls in the East Parking Garage in McHenry Row by the Harris Teeter in Locust Point.
The eight urban-style Supercharger stalls are positioned along the south wall at the top of the ramp leading to the second floor. The red Tesla signs indicate that two spaces are dedicated to Tesla Vehicle Charging Only with the remaining six labeled 30 Minute General Parking.
This garage has solar panels on the top deck courtesy of a Maryland Energy Administration grant. The Parking Lot Solar PV Canopy with Electric Vehicle Charger Grant was awarded in 2014.
There are two GE Level 2 charging stations on the ground floor in the SE corner, one ChargePoint L2 on the NE corner and two SemaConnect charging stations in the NW corner on the third level.
The Tesla “Find Us” web page had said that the Baltimore Supercharger was targeted to open summer 2018. Tesla has also identified Annapolis Supercharger as opening this summer and it has been under construction at the Annapolis Towne Centre since late May and appears to be close to being finished. Stay tuned.
A Tesla Supercharger is under construction at the Roscoe Diner just off Route 17 in Roscoe, New York.
The town’s Building Department confirms that a permit has been issued and a source says that construction is currently under way.
Excavation activity on the SE edge of the parking lot can be seen from the Roscoe Diner’s Webcam.
The Tesla Supercharger will be a welcome addition to the growing number of charging stations becoming available in the Sullivan County Catskills.
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