Customers could see a slight increase in rates to pay for it, but that money is expected to be rebated back.
Frederick, Md (KM). It looks like electric vehicles are the wave of the future, and Maryland’s utilities are getting ready. It’s projected that 300,000 electric vehicles will be on the road in the state by 2025.
“The network is not ready; the electric network is not ready to handle the projected 300,000 of these vehicles on the roads by 2025,” says Todd Meyers, a spokesman for Potomac Edison. He says the utilities, including Potomac Edison, have filed proposals with the Public Service Commission on how they plan to meet these challenges, and create the 24,000 electric charging stations across Maryland which will be needed to power up these vehicles.
Meyers says the utilities plan to spend $104-million to pay for these charging stations, and some of that cost will be borne by their customers. He says Potomac Edison customers will probably be paying up to 25-cents per month to pay for these new facilities. “A lot of that money would be used as a rebate to help residential customers pay for about 2,000 these chargers at home. So a lot of that money will flow back to those customers,” he says.
“What we’re talking about doing, as a utility, is spending about $12-and-a-half-million or so to get the network ready,” he says, discussing Potomac Edison’s share of the $104-million. .
Meyers says many of these charging stations will be located at private homes. “We think–in our service area–we think about 80% of the charging will be at home. So that’s where most of the charges will happen,” he says.
The City of Frederick has drafted a electric vehicle plan which calls for most of the charging stations to be located in garages, carports and driveways. It’s considered the most simple, cost effective and convenient option, according to the plan, which goes on to say that the city should facilitate these options to accommodate its users.
Meyers says some changes or “tweaks”: will need to be made to the grid to provide the charging service to customers who are located away from a municipality. “There may be areas where the infrastructure as built is not set up to handle electric vehicles,” he says
But these charging stations won’t appear overnight. “This is something that’s gong to be unrolled over a period of years. It’s not all going to happen in one year,” he says.
Other utilities involved in helping to build the network of charging stations are BGE, PEPCO and Delmarva Power.
Meyers says these companies want to be ready as more people will be using electric cars in the future.. “It’s not a matter of build the infrastructure out, or build the charging station infrastructure out, and they;’re going to come,” he says. “It’s a matter of these vehicles are coming and we have to get the infrastructure put in place because if we don’t, they’re going to come without the infrastructure and you can’t have that.”
He says the PSC is expected to hold hearings on these proposals in the spring.
By Kevin McManus