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EV chargers debut in B'more city garages

Electric vehicle owners, you have some new places to plug in in downtown Baltimore. The city just made it easier to get around without worrying about running out of juice, unveiling nine new EV charging stations in municipal parking garages.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake arrived at a ribbon-cutting in the Baltimore Street garage near City Hall driving a candy-apple red Chevrolet Volt, which she rated "a nice ride."  With cameras trained on her, she plugged the charging cable into the car without a hitch.

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Declaring that Baltimore aims to support the budding electric-vehicle industry, Rawlings-Blake said  the city plans to acquire 50 more charging stations in the coming year to make it even easier for commuters and residents to have EVs in the city without fear of running out of power.

The nine chargers, each capable of handling two vehicles simultaneously, were installed with a $134,000 grant from the Maryland Energy Administration. The city is providing the electricity for free - about $1.50 per 10-hour charge, according to Ted Atwood, director of General Services - but drivers still have to pay to park.

"The people most likely to use these would be commuters worried about running out of juice before they get home," said Tiffany James of the city parking authority.  But she noted that they also make it possible for residents who don't have off-street parking to own an EV. 

The chargers were made by Coulomb Technologies and are part of the ChargePoint Network.  EV owners can locate available charging stations in city garages and elsewhere by consulting the online network. A ChargePoint card is needed to plug in, but those without one can call a number listed on the station to get signed up and connected on the spot.

Atwood said city workers are test-driving a pair of Volts to see if it makes sense to add EVs to the municipal vehicle fleet. The city is looking for ways to trim its fuel bill, he said, which runs upwards of $15 million a year.

Following is a list of city garages with EV chargers:

  • class="MsoNormal">Arena Garage – 99 S. Howard Street (2nd Level)
  • class="MsoNormal">Baltimore Street Garage – 15 Guilford Avenue (2nd Level)
  • class="MsoNormal">Caroline Street Garage – 805 S. Caroline Street (1st Level)
  • class="MsoNormal">Lexington Street Garage – 510 E. Lexington Street (2nd Level)
  • class="MsoNormal">Little Italy Garage – 400 S. Central Avenue (1st Level)
  • class="MsoNormal">Penn Station Garage – 1151 N. Charles Street (Level 1B)
  • class="MsoNormal">Redwood Street Garage – 11 S. Eutaw Street (Lower Level)
  • class="MsoNormal">Water Street Garage – 414 Water Street (Level 3)
  • class="MsoNormal">West Street Garage – 40 E. West Street (Lower Level)
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