Environmental advocacy nonprofit Annapolis Green is hosting its 10th annual Kick Gas in Annapolis! electric vehicle showcase Saturday at the Annapolis Town Center.
The free event will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature more than 60 cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters and e-bikes brought to the event by their owners, who have volunteered to answer questions about switching to electric transportation, said Elvia Thompson, co-founder and president emerita of Annapolis Green.
Other vehicles will be brought by dealerships and Baltimore Gas and Electric, which will present information on its electric vehicle programs. One of the newer models that will be on display will be a converted 1998 Jaguar XJR, which will demonstrate how gas cars can be converted to electric. An electric school bus will also be on display.
“This is what electric vehicle drivers do. We talk about our cars all the time to anybody who will listen,” Thompson said. “A lot of the people who drive electric are evangelists for this technology for different reasons.”
Electric vehicles are powered by electric motors that use energy stored in batteries as opposed to burning gasoline, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. Battery electric vehicles have rechargeable batteries that can be charged at home or at public charging stations. Another lower gas alternative is plug-in electric vehicles, which use a combination of battery and gas.
Small workshops and displays offered throughout the day will discuss the benefits of driving electric including reducing the driver’s carbon footprint and saving money on gas.
“We’re going to have mini-seminars on different topics like how to do a long trip in an electric car, what do you do if you live in a condo [and] how driving electric relates to climate change,” Thompson said. “It will be educational and fun.”
Annapolis Town Center stores will be offering special deals Saturday for event attendees.
The local event is part of the 12th annual National Drive Electric Week, a series of celebrations of electric vehicles from the end of September to early October.
Maryland Policy & Politics
Maryland offers a variety of incentives for those who decide to drive electric vehicles, including a rebate on charging equipment and installation and excise tax credits, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.
The state has allowed electric vehicle drivers access to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes with a Motor Vehicle Administration-issued permit for years, but the provision expires Oct. 1 after the state legislature failed to renew the policy.
Those who drive electric vehicles are also eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500 for purchasing an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Local retailers like Pepco and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. also offer reduced rates and rebates for electric vehicle drivers.
The state’s incentives have been quite popular, maxing out the funding set aside for the programs. Legislation passed in the most recent General Assembly session, the Clean Cars Act of 2022, infused more money into those programs and expanded eligibility for them.
In a study released earlier this month by Bumper, an app for car owners, Maryland was found the best state to own an electric vehicle in due to the state’s financial incentives.
“People like me are committed to this because of the climate change issues,” Thompson said. “There’s no emissions [from electric vehicles] so you’re not contributing to the 27% of greenhouses gases created by transportation.
“I know my car doesn’t contribute to that. Everybody’s got a different reason. Some people just don’t like gas stations.”