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Maryland is charged up about electric cars

Hybrid VehiclesFuel-efficient VehiclesExecutive BranchGlobal Warming

The author of the article, "5 reasons buyers don't charge ahead on electric vehicles," (Dec. 4) is clearly unaware of the numerous steps Maryland has taken under Gov. Martin O'Malley's leadership to create incentives and facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles in our state.

In 2009, Governor O'Malley and the legislature worked together to require Maryland to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Widespread adoption of electric vehicles is one of many strategies designed to help us reach that goal. Driving on electricity reduces greenhouse gases by 38 percent compared to conventional vehicles. Recognizing that the successful adoption of electric vehicles requires the appropriate charging (or fueling) infrastructure, the state strategically installed 81 public charging stations around Maryland to alleviate any range anxiety. Numerous other charging stations are available, including 30 at Walgreens. Marylanders can also find the locations of public charging stations at: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/locator/stations/.

However, buyers of electric vehicles will also want to charge at home. Fortunately, Maryland also provides a tax credit for home charging. This is in addition to a tax break for electric vehicles for up to $2,000.

Governor O'Malley and the General Assembly created the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council in 2011 to develop a plan for the deployment of electric vehicles and charging stations. The council's report and recommendations can be found at this web address:

http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Office%20of%20Planning%20and%20Capital%20Programming/Electric_Vehicle/Documents/Final_Report_Full_Document.pdf

In addition, electric vehicle adoption is creating economic opportunities for Maryland companies. For example, Maryland-based SemaConnect is at the forefront of developing advanced technology for charging stations.

Contrary to the article's point of view, Maryland is charged up and ready to go!

Abigail Ross Hopper, Annapolis

The writer is acting director of the Maryland Energy Administration.

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