Baltimore's first curbside electric-vehicle charging stations debuted Friday, marking the next step in the establishment of infrastructure to support the spread of plug-in cars and trucks.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other dignitaries were on hand for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the installation of two chargers at the northeast corner of War Memorial Plaza, Gay and Lexington streets.
The ceremony comes the same day a United Nations-sponsored scientific group released a new report warning about the likely impacts of global climate change unless emissions of greenhouse gases are reduced.
Electric vehicles are seen as a step, albeit a small one, in mitigating climate change. They emit no greenhouse gases directly, though of course the electricity that runs them is generally produced by power plants, many of which currently emit climate-altering carbon dioxide virtually uncontrolled into the atmosphere.
Though more EVs are being produced, their popularity has been limited by their price and concerns about their limited range before their batteries need recharging. Growing the network of charging stations is aimed at addressing the latter issue.
Each charger at War Memorial Plaza gives a level 2, 240-volt "quick" charge, which can fully recharge an electric vehicle in about three hours. The parking spaces by the charges cost $1 an hour, with a 4-hour limit.
The city also maintains EV charging stations at nine municipal parking garages. There are dozens of other public charging stations in the area, with the largest concentrations downtown and other destinations.
Saturday is National Plug-In Day, with events planned throughout the weekend nationwide, including displays at Oriole Park and in the Inner Harbor. For more on those and other events in Maryland, go here.