Some areas of Carroll County are now being offered some assistance with expanding their infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Potomac Edison, a utility serving parts of western Carroll, recently launched a program called EV Driven to provide publicly available electric vehicle, or EV, charging stations, rebates for both residential and multifamily charger installations, as well as incentives such as gift cards for EV charging during off-peak hours, according to a news release from FirstEnergy, the parent company of Potomac Edison.
“The EV Driven program will help make electric charging in Maryland more accessible, convenient and affordable,” James Spears, president of Maryland operations for FirstEnergy, said in the news release. “We’re excited to support Maryland’s efforts toward electric vehicle adoption and to expand the charging station network as we continue providing safe, reliable and affordable service to our customers.”
Potomac Edison will install 59 charging stations, including Level 2 and DC Fast charging stations, as part of the program that will be available for public use throughout its Maryland service area.
According to the release, the program will also provide a $300 rebate for qualified Level 2 EV chargers and a 50 percent rebate for the cost of qualified Level 2 and DC Fast charging stations at multifamily properties, up to $5,000.
Governing entities and residents interested in hosting charging stations can apply at the program’s website. The residential chargers and the public chargers are two separate parts of the program, so residents do not have to wait for their government entity to apply for the rebate for the purchase and installation of a charging station at the residence.
Aaron Ruegg, senior communication representative with FirstEnergy, isn’t currently aware of any Carroll County communities that have applied for the program. But he encouraged any government entities that have public parking areas that are interested in EV charging stations to visit their website, review the requirements and submit an application.
“We haven’t haven’t scheduled any specific deployments or plan in place at this point,” Ruegg said. “We really are accepting applications and responding to those applications quickly as we can to begin the installation process, and we do expect that that process will begin shortly.”
The program stems from a statewide effort to support electrical vehicle adoption.
“Maryland is one of several states working toward a goal of reaching 300,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025," Ruegg said. "As part of that statewide effort, the Public Service Commission approved a pilot program that includes other utilities in Maryland to provide these offerings — public charging and rebates for residential multifamily customers to help drive EV adoption.”
The program was approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission in January 2019 with the intention of helping Maryland utilities evaluate the benefits of EV charging while remaining cost-effective for customers, according to the release.
According to the release, electric vehicles offer a clean alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles, averaging as low as one-third the cost-per-mile of gasoline. Their driving range can vary from about 80 miles to 280 miles, depending on the battery capacity.
“We’re excited to be a part of such an innovative and forward-looking program," Ruegg said, “and really what this program will do is help provide a good foundation for future initiatives that might help EV adoption in other areas that we serve, in other states that we serve.”