Virginia Right-to-Charge Law is in Effect

Right-to-Charge Laws

Facilitates EV Charging for Condo and HOA Members

As of July 1, 2020, a Virginia Right-to-Charge law is in effect. This will make it easier to install an electric vehicle charging station for residents who live on property with a Home Owners Association or Condo Board. The law also applies to proprietary lessees in Virginia.

The law creates a framework for residents and property owners’ associations to follow. This includes requiring the unit owner to pay the cost of installing the charging station as well as the electricity used.

Virginia Right to Charge Joins Six Other States

Six other states have Right to Charge laws including New York, Florida, Colorado, California, Oregon and Hawaii. Maryland lawmakers considered such a bill in 2020 (HB 111). It passed the House but died in the Senate, possibly due to the abrupt adjournment of the session due to the pandemic.

Virginia Senator Scott A. Surovell proposed the Virginia Right to Charge bill (SB 630). An EV driver himself, Surovell told PlugInSites, “We need to facilitate EV ownership and several people including constituents have reached out to me regarding difficulties encountered installing EV charging stations in condominiums. I’m hoping that my legislation will create a roadmap that facilitates the efficient deployment of charging stations in homeowners associations, condominiums and cooperatives.”

Here is the text of the Virginia Right to Charge law with links to the source.

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Tail of the Dragon – Electric Road Trip

Tail of the Dragon Tesla Charging

318 Curves in 11 Miles

They call it Tail of the Dragon — a treacherous twisting road squiggled into the hills and hollows of the Great Smoky Mountains. “The Dragon” famously squeezes 318 wheel-whipping curves into 11 magic miles. This legendary stretch of US 129 on the Tennessee/North Carolina border attracts drivers from all over the world.

Hollywood has come calling for decades. Scenes from Thunder Road, Two Lane Blacktop and The Fugitive with Harrison Ford were filmed there. The Dragon is always ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMille.

She’s also a merciless killer. More than 24 lives have been lost to accidents on the Dragon since 2000 according to a TV show called “Hell Roads.” This area is as remote as it is wild. Forget about cell service. If you wrap yourself around a tree, the nearest hospital is an hour and a half away.

On summer weekends, the din of superbikes and turbocharged sports cars echo through the hills. Give it the gas. Brake. Accelerate hard. Brake for the next curve. Repeat 318 times. Doesn’t this plot seem scripted for an electric car? An EV’s low center of gravity, instant torque and regenerative braking is perfect for riding the Tail of the Dragon.

But how to get there. Is there a place to charge?

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Ohio Evaluates State-Wide Approach to EV Charging

Ohio EV Charging Study  State Parks
Graphic: DriveOhio – Recommendations for Level 2 Destination Charging at Ohio Attractions

DriveOhio, a part of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), released an 85 page Electric Vehicle Charging Study to assess and coordinate a state-wide approach to developing EV charging infrastructure.

Fast Charging Every 50 Miles Along Ohio Highways

A key recommendation is to place EV charging stations at least every 50 miles along highway corridors throughout Ohio. Highway corridor charging would be high-powered DC Fast Chargers located within a mile of a highway.

The study identifies Fast Charging gaps along highway corridors and suggests options to fill them. Most of the charging stations are suggested to be installed at private site hosts such as larger gas stations and convenience stores. Some charging gaps could be filled by placing DC Fast Chargers at Ohio Turnpike Service Plazas or ODOT rest stops.

Level 2 charging needs that can support Ohio tourism are also identified. Destination charging stations are suggested at popular Ohio attrations such as the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Cedar Point Amusement Park. EV drivers can then recharge their vehicles using Level 2 stations while they are visiting these destinations.

75% of BEVs Registered in Ohio are Teslas

According to data in the report, about 75% of the all-electric vehicles registered in Ohio are Teslas. The Model 3 accounts for 27% of all plug-in vehicles (including plug-in hybrids) registered in the state.

The report calls for collaboration among the following state agencies to implement the proposed strategy: ODOT, the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the Department of Administrative Services, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Development Services Agency, and the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Ohio has reason to support the expansion of EV charging infrastructure with Lordstown Motors taking over the former GM manufacturing facility to build electric pickup-trucks in the state.

The Electric Vehicle Charging Study is available on the drive.ohio.gov website.

See also: Maryland Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council Releases 2019 Annual Report.

Maryland Utility-Owned Public Charging – July 1, 2020

Maryland Utility EV Charging Stations July 1 2020
click map for charging station details

Approximately 118 Ports at 24 Sites

Last year the Maryland Public Service Commission approved the implementation of a five-year pilot program for utility-owned and operated public EV charging stations. Since the program began on July 1, 2019, BGE, Pepco and Potomac Edison have installed approximately 118 charging ports at 24 sites. One of the first BGE sites was installed in Westminster last December.

We are documenting the progress at this point in time with the unofficial map above. The orange pins designate the sites we know are open that have at least one fast charger. The green pins are the sites with only Level 2 connectors. Click the pins to reveal more detail.

Semi-Annual Report Due in August

The utilities are required to submit semi-annual progress reports to the PSC. The report that covers the first half of 2020 is due in August.

Below are photos of many of the completed utility-owned sites we’ve visited in Maryland. More charging stations are currently under construction or being planned. Stay tuned for updates.

EVCS HDG City Hall
Havre de Grace City Hall – 1 DCFC, 4 Level 2
EVCS Bel Air DCFC
Harford County Government, Bel Air – 2 DCFC
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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.

Maryland EV Tax Credit Status as of June, 2020

Funding Depleted – But File an Application Anyway

Maryland EV Tax Credit Tesla Dealer

Don’t count on the $3,000 Maryland EV tax credit if you buy an electric car right now. Funding for the program is exhausted and no further funding is currently authorized. However, you should still submit the form to reserve your place in line in case funding is approved in the future.

Go to the MVA website for the current status of the Maryland EV Tax Credit program and do your due diligence before making a purchase.

The Clean Cars Act of 2017, signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan, authorized an excise tax credit on plug-in electric cars for three years, from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020.

Funds for the Maryland excise tax credit usually run out early each fiscal year. Applicants are then put on a wait list until the next round of funding is released. Filling the backlog means that each year’s funding runs out sooner than the last.

In September, 2016 the money ran out barely two months into fiscal year 2017. The Maryland MVA sent out a bulletin advising auto dealers to alert customers that funds were depleted and the program had ended.

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Montgomery County to Permit Home EV Charging Stations on Public Right of Way

Montgomery County Maryland EV Charging Permitting

New Policy Expands Options for Residential Charging

Guidelines developed by Montgomery County, Maryland will allow for privately owned EV charging stations to be installed in the public right of way adjacent to County streets. Residents of homes that qualify will be able to charge while parked on the curb using electricity from their home meter.

The curbside charging program is available to residents of single family homes or duplexes. Permits will be considered when a home doesn’t have a driveway and off-street parking cannot be built on the home’s property.

This is welcome news for many Montgomery County homeowners who’ve been wanting to buy an electric vehicle but only have curbside parking at home.

The Residential EV Charging Permit Guidelines were developed by the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (DPS) and the Department of Transportation (MCDOT).

“We have installed electric vehicle charging stations in many of our parking garages, purchased electric and alternative fueled buses, implemented bike- and e-scooter sharing and many other measures to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “These new EV charging guidelines are the logical next step to encourage a shift to lower emission vehicles and ensure that charging on our public streets is done safely. The result is easy to understand and implement right now, but also allows us to adapt as technology advances.”

Process to Apply for a Curbside EV Charging Station

The Guidelines present five steps and three permitting options which will be guided by the initial determination by DPS.

Step 1: Initial Inquiry

Submit a letter of interest with a site plan.

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Falls Church, VA Supercharger Coming to Idylwood Plaza

On Route 7 and Pimmet Drive Near I-66

Tesla is building a V3 Supercharger at Idylwood Plaza at 7501 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA. It is located on Route 7 just inside the Beltway close to I-66. Map link.

Idylwood Plaza has a Whole Foods, Starbucks, Jason’s Deli, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, Burger 7, Noodles & Company, and Tara Thai.

Falls Church, VA is among a number of Tesla Superchargers that are under construction in the Washington, DC area in the spring of 2020.

Falls Church, VA Supercharger to Have Eight Stalls up to 250 kW Max

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Maryland Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council Releases 2019 Annual Report

After Five Month Delay

This week, the Maryland Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (ZEEVIC) released their 2019 Annual Report that was due last December.

Under the Maryland Clean Cars Act, the body is required to submit an annual report of the Council’s work and recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly by December 1st. This would give the Governor and legislature a month to study the information and prepare important EV related bills for the lawmaking session which begins each January.

Formed as The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (EVIC) in 2011

The Council was created by legislation introduced by Governor O’Malley in 2011 to coordinate integration of electric vehicles into Maryland communities and transportation system. It was originally called the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (EVIC). EVIC included representatives of automobile manufacturers, dealers, charging equipment manufacturers, utility companies, electrical workers, state and local governments, energy and environmental experts.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells Added to Become ZEEVIC

In 2019, legislation sponsored by Governor Hogan added representatives of the hydrogen fuel industry and the name was changed to the Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (ZEEVIC). The 2019 ZEEVIC Report cover features a photo of Gov. Hogan and administration officials at a demo of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in front of the state capitol in Annapolis.

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BGE Fast Chargers at Glenwood Library in Howard County

UPDATE: Open as of June 25, 2020

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.

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