Governor O’Malley, Presiding Officers Sign Legislation to Improve Air Quality, Save Consumers Money and Support Local Green Jobs

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nina Smith, Governor’s Office: 410-533-0363
nina.smith@maryland.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

GOVERNOR O’MALLEY, PRESIDING OFFICERS SIGN LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY, SAVE CONSUMERS MONEY AND SUPPORT LOCAL GREEN JOBS

Legislation Will Provide Incentives to Expand the Purchase of Electric Vehicles and Recharging Stations
Bill Passage Advances Governor’s Goal to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

 

ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 7, 2014) — Providing financial incentives to expand the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles and recharging stations as a means to improve air quality, save consumers money and support local green jobs, Governor Martin O’Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., and House Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones on Monday signed the Electric Vehicles and Recharging Equipment-Rebates and Tax Credits bill (HB 1345 / SB 908).  The legislation extends a tax credit on the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles for three years, increases the value of the tax credit provided to most vehicles and enhances the incentive on the purchase and installation of electric vehicle recharging station equipment.

“I applaud my colleagues in the General Assembly for working closely with us to pass this bill that will improve air quality, save hard-working Maryland consumers money and support green jobs here in Maryland,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.  “A key component of our strategic efforts to reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 is to make owning an electric vehicle more convenient and economical, which this legislation accomplishes.”

“Making it easier to own and operate an electric vehicle is an important part of building a healthy and sustainable environment for Maryland,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown.  “When we work together with advocates, businesses, and legislative leaders, we can protect our environment while also creating jobs for Maryland’s workers.”  

The legislation will allow the State to continue to offer a tax credit on the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles through June 2017 and, in most cases, increases the value of the tax credit by changing the calculation based on a vehicle’s battery size.  Once the legislation takes effect July 1, 2014, the incentive, up to a maximum of $3,000, will be based on $125 times the number of kilowatt-hours battery capacity.  For example, under the current available tax credit that is set to expire this June, Marylanders who purchase a Chevrolet Volt are eligible to receive a $1,000 tax credit.  After July 1, the tax credit doubles to approximately $2,000 for Marylanders who purchase the Volt.  Maryland has committed $1.8 million per fiscal year through June 30, 2017, for this tax credit.

“General Motors applauds Governor O’Malley’s leadership to provide incentives that help advance environmentally friendly technologies gain a foothold among consumers.  GM and, in particular, our employees at our Baltimore Operations Plant believe that doing right for the environment is good for both business and jobs,” said Michael Robinson, General Motors’ Vice President, Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs.  GM employees at their Baltimore plant make the electric drive motor and drive unit for the Spark EV plug-in electric vehicle, which is currently sold in Oregon and California.

The legislation also repeals the existing electric vehicle recharging income tax credit and replaces it with an enhanced rebate program that has been expanded to include local and State government.  The rebate program, which will be administered by the Maryland Energy Administration and also goes into effect on July 1, 2014, will offer more money to individuals, businesses and local and State government for the purchase and installation of recharging stations for plug-in electric vehicles.  Maryland has committed $600,000 per fiscal year through June 30, 2017, for this rebate program.  The cost-saving breakdown for the rebate program includes the following:

  • Residential customers: up to 50 percent of costs not to exceed $900;
  • Commercial entities: up to 50 percent of costs not to exceed $5,000;
  • Local and State Government: up to 50 percent of costs not to exceed $5,000; and
  • Retail Service Stations:  up to 50 percent of costs not to exceed $7,500.

“Maryland continues as a national leader in harnessing the innovation that will move us into the new economy,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration.  “Thanks to Governor O’Malley and the Maryland legislature, we continue to make vital investments in advancing electric transportation and infrastructure, which promotes energy independence, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and saves consumers’ money.” 

The incentives, which are subject to available funding, were strongly supported by Maryland’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (EVIC).  The EVIC is made up of automobile manufacturers, dealers, charging station equipment manufacturers, utility companies, electrical workers, State and local government and environmental and energy experts. 

“The EVIC strongly supported the passage of this legislation to provide the incentives and infrastructure necessary to promote more widespread use of electric vehicles,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary and EVIC Chair Wilson H. Parran.  “We commend the leadership of Governor O’Malley and members of the General Assembly for their ongoing efforts to fight for cleaner air, greener jobs and more cash in the pockets of consumers.”

There are great economic advantages to electric vehicles.  Electricity is the most widely available source of power and typically costs about two-thirds less than gasoline on a per-mile basis.  By 2025, the average zero-emission vehicle driver will save nearly $6,000 in fueling costs over the life of the car.

“Today’s bill signing is another step forward in our efforts to expand electric vehicle ownership in Maryland,” Maryland Department of the Environment Deputy Secretary Kathy Kinsey said.  “Providing financial incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles and charging stations is among the most effective measures we can take to expand market penetration.”

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