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EV chargers set to spark across B'more

EV chargers set to spark across B'more

If you're an electric-car owner, it can be a bit daunting to find a public place to plug in and recharge in Baltimore right now. That's due to change soon, though.

The Maryland Energy Administration is working with the city and Baltimore Electric Vehicle Initiative to install 65 stations across the Baltimore-Washington area this spring, the first of which already has gone in at the Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville. SemaConnect of Annapolis, meanwhile, was first out of the gate, placing a few of its stations in parking lots and garages around the area. It hopes to have 50 out there soon.

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Now Coulomb Technologies of California has announced it'll be placing charging stations in Baltimore, too, as part of a $37 million expansion of its ChargePoint America program. The company's Scott Miller emailed me that it expects to install 50 to 100 in the metro area, though timing is still to be determined.

In addition, there'll soon be a new tax break for EV owners and others to help with the cost of installing a charging station at home or elsewhere. The General Assembly approved an O'Malley administration bill, HB163, to provide a credit covering up to 20 percent of the cost of EV charging equipment.

All that apparently has been enough for Ford Motor Co. to put Baltimore on its list of the 25 most EV-ready cities in the country.

So we'll have to see if the spreading network of charging stations will spark sales of electric cars, as the lack of such infrastructure has been cited as a drag on their consumer appeal.  And maybe higher gas prices won't hurt, either.

(Mahi Reddy of SemaConnect recharges at station in Fitzgerald apartments parking garage in Mount Vernon. Baltimore Sun photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor)

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