In what may become a common occurrence, a gasoline station in Takoma Park Maryland has shut down its gasoline pumps and has switched to 100% electric vehicle charging. Instead of the gas pumps, the station will have four charging units capable of as high as a 200 kW charging rate and a seating area where folks can buy things at an automated convenience store.
As you can see from the press release below, the conversion was funded by a $768,000 grant by the Maryland Energy Administered and the Electric Vehicle Institute.
Obviously, for electric vehicles to be more widely adopted, the charging infrastructure needs to increase. A CNBC report on this notes that while there are lots of electric cars in that area of the world, Takoma Park has only two public charging stations. One interesting problem, reported by WAMU, is the difficulty that electric taxi drivers have with finding charging support. Washington DC has a program encouraging taxi drivers to buy electric cars, but if the driver chooses a Nissan Leaf (limited electric range) they have to recharge multiple times per day. Further, the limited number of charging stations means the drivers must detour to a far away charging station.
The CNBC article says the station owner, Depeswar Doley, is unhappy with the contracts offered by oil and gasoline companies.
This reminds me of an advertising stunt pulled by Coda Automotive a few years back. This advertisement was put on top of gasoline pumps and looked like a historical marker. The idea being that gasoline pumps and gasoline stations would eventually become a historical curiosity.
Of course Coda Automotive did not lead the way on that. The company itself is now a historical curiosity to the few of us who remember their existence. But their marketing department was spot-on.
Maryland Opens First Fully Converted Gas-to-Electric Refueling Station in the United States
Opens Today in Montgomery County
ANNAPOLIS, MD—The nation’s first fully converted gas-to-electric refueling and service station for electric vehicles (EV) opened today in Montgomery County, Maryland. The EV refueling station, jointly funded by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and Electric Vehicle Institute (EVI), is located along the Maryland/Washington, D.C. border at RS Automotive, 7224 Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park.
“Maryland is proud to be a national leader when it comes to clean and renewable energy, climate change, and the promotion of electric infrastructure and vehicles,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This fully-converted, gas-to-electric charging station is a prime example of our administration’s commitment to the environment and transportation.”
The refueling station hosts a state-of-the-art, high-powered (HP), 200 kilowatt (kW), four dispenser system, delivering 50 kW and higher for EV charging. This refueling station allows four EVs to charge simultaneously within 20 to 30 minutes under an illuminated canopy. A new 200 kW/HP charging system with DC fast-charging capability is in place to support the EV station along with a certified repair facility that can handle all aspects of servicing, including battery pack replacement and disposal, plus a fully stocked and automated convenience store.
“This EV charging station is another first and only in the country, credits for Maryland,” stated Mary Beth Tung, MEA Director. “Our state’s energy programs are strategically advancing toward 100% clean electricity, which benefits all Marylanders and the environment.”
EVI received a $786,000 Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Program grant from the MEA grant in FY18, which was used to support the purchase of 16 DC fast chargers for seven locations across the state. The project exemplifies the long history of public and private partnerships that advance energy and transportation opportunities for Marylanders.
“EVI is excited to have installed a high powered, fast-charging system in Takoma Park as it is a significant step in providing a ‘gas-station’ like charging experience for Maryland EV drivers and commuters in the region,” according to EVI CEO Matthew Wade. These new chargers at RS Automotive are among the over 600 charging stations located within the State of Maryland. A growing network of EV charging infrastructure will be needed to help Maryland meet its goal of having 60,000 EVs on the road by 2020, and 300,000 by 2025. To learn more about Maryland’s zero-emission vehicle efforts, please visit the Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council website.
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