$1M grant program announced for fast-charge electric vehicle stations

COLUMBIA, Md. - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced a $1 million grant program Thursday to build a statewide network of fast-charge electric vehicle charging stations, which will allow an 80-percent charge in less than 30 minutes.

The Level 3 stations must be located near major highways, but their specific locations have yet to be determined. The stations are expected to stretch from Garrett County to Ocean City to Southern Maryland and beyond, according to a news release from Gansler's office

Maryland would be among the first states in the eastern U.S. to introduce Level 3 stations to highway travel.

“Electric vehicles are the wave of the future and this network will position Maryland as a leader in the use of fast-charge technology,” Gansler said in a statement. “This initiative will enable current and future EV owners to use their cars more often, foster job growth in Maryland, keep Maryland money in Maryland and help achieve Maryland’s long-term air quality goals by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Currently, Maryland electric vehicle owners charge  their cars overnight at home, or use Level 2 charging stations at workplaces, commercial locations or retail businesses, which take several hours to fully charge.

The hope behind the grant is that the development of fast-charging stations will help encourage a bigger electric vehicle market in the state. Fifteen EV models, such as the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, are currently sold in Maryland.

Maryland has set a goal of 60,000 electric vehicles, or 2.3 percent of all registered passenger vehicles, in the state by 2020.

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