Calvert division leader joins governors council on electric vehicles

Though he never has driven an electric vehicle himself, Bobby Rollins, the division chief for the Calvert County Department of Public Works Fleet Maintenance Division, soon will be learning a lot about them.
Rollins was appointed earlier this month to Gov. Martin OMalleys Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council, which will plan and coordinate the successful integration of electric vehicles into Marylands communities and transportation system, according to a press release from OMalleys (D) office.

The press release states the council will be made up of 20 people, including representatives of automobile manufacturers and dealers, electrical vehicle charging manufacturers, utilities, electrical workers, state and local governments and environmental and energy experts.

Rollins said he will serve a two-year term on the committee, for which he applied after learning about it through Calvert County Administrator Terry Shannon.

In order to generate any interest about electric vehicles, theres got to be some type of infrastructure, Rollins said, continuing that current electric vehicles can drive about 40 miles on a charge, which makes it difficult for people commuting longer than that distance to and from work.

If you live in Solomons and youre going to work in Prince Frederick, youre going to need a charge.

He said there are currently charging station prototypes that look like parking lots in which cars pull into a spot and swipe their credit card and hook their car up to a charger that locks their car in so no one can unplug it.

And you go out and do your shopping or whatever and your car is charged, Rollins said.

Rollins said he imagines the council will meet with industry representatives about what would be a good location in the state to start a potential pilot program for these charging stations and how distance traveled and charging time will factor into it.

I think it could be very effective if we can establish an infrastructure throughout the state in generating interest in electric vehicles [to] become less dependent on oil, he said. In seeing the way fuel prices are going, if theyre going the way theyre going, I think everyone will take an interest.

Rollins said the first council meeting will be Aug. 23 in Hanover.

Shannon said she thought of Rollins for the program, as hes someone who does an excellent job for the county in determining when its vehicles need to be replaced and with what they should be replaced.

I knew hed be an asset to the committee and good eyes and ears for the county to bring back information about electric vehicles and how the county could utilize them, Shannon said.

She said while the Calvert County government had yet to seriously consider electric vehicles, perhaps its time we start gaining information and weighing the pros and cons on having electric vehicles.

The press release from OMalleys office states the council will be charged with developing statewide standards for streamlined permitting and installation of electric vehicle charging stations and supply equipment; developing targeted policies to support fleet purchases for electric vehicles; developing charging solutions for existing and future multidwelling units; and increasing consumer awareness and demand for electric vehicles. The press release states the council will submit an interim report on its work and recommendations by Jan. 1, 2012, and a final report by Dec. 1, 2012.
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