Utility-Owned Public Charging Stations Open in Western Maryland
EV drivers have been waiting many years for CCS and CHAdeMO Fast Chargers to come to Garrett County, Maryland. In April, 2014, the Maryland Attorney General announced a $1 million grant program to build a statewide network of DC Fast Chargers that was supposed to extend from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore. Unfortunately, the western portion never materialized.
In January, 2019, the Maryland Public Service Commission issued Order No. 88997 which allowed a pilot program of utility owned and operated public EV charging stations under the condition that they are located on property owned, leased or occupied by a state, county, or municipal government.
Potomac Edison has now opened their first Fast Chargers along with a Level 2 station at the Deep Creek Visitors Center in McHenry, MD. The two ChargePoint units are rated to share 125 kW of power between them. We successfully charged using a CHAdeMO to Tesla adapter on one of them on Saturday, January 2nd. While in the area, we spotted four other Teslas in and around McHenry. Teslas need a CHAdeMO adapter sold by Tesla or perhaps one of the new third party CCS adapters to use these ChargePoint units. Maybe these fast chargers will encourage drivers of Chevy Bolts and other EVs with CCS or CHAdeMO plugs to make the trek to Western Maryland in their electric cars.
Garrett County has the second lowest adoption of electric vehicles in Maryland according to an analysis of Plug-In Vehicle Adoption. Garrett County has 15 all-electric and 5 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles registered according to the latest data from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. This means that most of the utilization of the fast chargers in McHenry will probably be from tourists and other visitors.
More Public Fast Chargers Planned
Potomac Edison identified nine areas in their Maryland service area where they wish to place public Fast Chargers under the pilot program. They are currently building Fast Chargers in Hancock, MD. They also want to install Fast Chargers in Grantsville, Cumberland, Thurmont, Frederick, Myersville, Mt. Airy and Urbana. The Maryland portion of I-70/I-68 has been designated a National Electric Vehicle Charging Corridor by the Federal Highway Administration and some of these planned locations will be along that corridor.
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