Electric Vehicles are Ready to Roll in Maryland

Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center

With the right policies in place, plug-in vehicles can reduce oil dependence in Maryland by 2,750,622 gallons per year, according to a new report released today by Environment Maryland.

“It’s time to plug in, power up, and protect our planet because plug-in vehicles have arrived here in Maryland,” said Sam Feigenbaum, organizer at Environment Maryland.

“Maryland can and must lead the way in providing the infrastructure to make electric vehicles the smart, mainstream choice for vehicle travel. Let’s get this done,” said state Senator Roger Manno (D-19).

According to the Environment Maryland report, “Charging Forward: The Emergence of Electric Vehicles and Their Role in Reducing Oil Consumption,” 11,683 drivers in Maryland could purchase their first plug-in vehicle within the next three years. Overall these vehicles will reduce Maryland’s global warming pollution by 16,293 metric tons per year. If the plug-in vehicles are powered by clean sources of electricity, these savings will rise to 48,949 metric tons per year.

“Electric cars are a ‘win’ all around – they reduce our dependence on foreign oil, they help in the fight against global warming, and the cost of charging a car is much less than the cost of a tank of gas. I’m glad that Maryland has been in the forefront of promoting the use and purchase of electric cars,” said Maryland Delegate Dana Stein (D-11).

“For decades, owning a car has meant consuming oil. Today, drivers finally have a choice,” said Feigenbaum. “Thanks in part to smart policies in Maryland and from the Obama administration, every major automobile manufacturer is offering a new plug-in vehicle powered primarily by electricity. For the first time, we can power our cars with clean energy.”

In Washington, President Obama has proposed fuel efficiency standards that Environment Maryland credits as being the most important step ever taken to build clean, advanced technology cars that will get us off oil. His administration has also made investments in critical technologies, such as advanced batteries and high powered charging stations.

Here in Maryland, the Maryland Clean Cars program has helped ensure that Maryland drivers continue to have a choice between vehicles powered by oil and advanced, high-tech vehicles powered by clean energy. This year, Maryland will have an opportunity to build on this critical program by adopting new rules that will help us build over 1.4 million electric vehicles by 2025.

The Environment Maryland report shows the impressive technological breakthroughs that have helped move plug-in vehicles into the fast lane, from advanced batteries that have dropped in price by over 80 percent, to super-fast charging stations that have reduced charge times by over 90 percent.

To make plug-in vehicles a choice for more consumers, Environment Maryland’s report calls for more work to be done to build the infrastructure of the charging stations that can service these vehicles, as well as more investment in the technologies that will drive down prices. Currently, Maryland ranks 8th in the country in total number of vehicle charging stations. Environment Maryland also called on state and federal leaders to help plug-in vehicles achieve the greatest possible pollution reductions by adopting policies that will ensure we get more of our electricity from clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.

“Electric vehicles offer all Americans hope for a cleaner, healthier future. But to make this promise a reality, continued public investment will be necessary to ensure that these vehicles are as convenient and as affordable as cars powered by oil,” concluded Feigenbaum.