The Columbia Association (CA) has installed five electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Columbia; two between Kahler Hall and the Athletic Club in Harpers Choice, one at the Owen Brown Community Center, one at the Supreme Sports Club, and one at the Columbia Gym. Three of the charging stations were provided as part of a US Department of Energy (DOE) stimulus program and CA outright purchased the other two stations. All 5 of the stations are part of the nationwide ChargePoint network.
What are some of the details of the project?
The charging stations are ChargePoint model CT2100 and allow for Level I and Level II charging of EVs. The stations are networked and operate under the ChargePoint ChargePass system or contactless credit card. CA operates the charging stations free of cost for any EV owner who lives, works, or utilizes CA facilities. CA will monitor this program as members of the community become familiar with the service and use characteristics are understood, and hopefully more EV’s become part of the Columbia community.
Why are the parking spaces near the chargers not reserved for EV’s only?
There are several reasons the adjacent parking spaces are not posted as reserved for EV use only. First there is no statute in Maryland or Howard County designating EV charging station sites as a category of privileged parking (such as the signage posted for handicapped parking). Thus, there is no police enforcement mechanism for EV only designation. At the present time there are relatively few electric vehicles in our community. Also, CA is counting
on common sense and good citizenship of our community members as it relates to parking non-EV’s at these locations.
Why undertake the project?
Electric vehicles provide a significant reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to gasoline-powered vehicles and will help improve the sustainability of our community. The charging stations will contribute to the development of an infrastructure in the community that improves the viability of electric vehicle ownership.
Why support electric vehicles in our community?
In addition to reducing GHG emissions, CA is taking important steps to help foster a clean energy economy in our community. The average gasoline-powered vehicle emits about one pound of GHG emissions for every mile driven. Mobile fuel combustion is a significant share of our overall carbon footprint and associated climate change impacts. While electric vehicles charged from the grid still have the upstream emissions associated with electricity generation,
those emissions are much lower than if the vehicle were burning gasoline to operate. If we are better able to leverage clean electric vehicles in our community, we reduce our contribution to climate change and increase the sustainability of our transportation infrastructure.
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