The Examiner: Maryland's First Residential Community Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

April 01, 2011

At 10:30 on March 31, The Bozzuto Group unveiled and demonstrated two electric vehicle charging stations at the Fitzgerald Apartments. These charging stations, made by SemaConnect, are the first public electric vehicle charging stations in a residential community in Maryland. They can be used for any mass-produced electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle including the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt, and the plug-in Toyota Prius.

The unveiling ceremony began with brief talks by Toby Bozzuto, the President of the Bozzuto Development Company; Bob Bogomolny, the President of the University of Baltimore; Mahi Reddy, the CEO of SemaConnect; and Stuart Kaplow, the chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. They unveiled the charging stations and demonstrated how to charge a waiting plug-in Prius. They then invited everybody to examine the charging stations and the cars, a Prius and a Chevy Volt.

The ChargePro charging stations have a plug that looks a bit like a gas pump and a display light that turns green to indicate that a vehicle is fully charged. They will be available to the public, but EV owners will have to sign up for an account with SemaConnect first. SemaConnect will then supply them with a "smart" card to activate the plug. The charging stations will have software that includes the following features: smart card authentification, online payment, and energy monitoring. Fully charging a car takes anywhere from four to eight hours, depending on the model.

Fitzgerald Apartments can add two more stations as demand increases. The Bozzuto Group plans to add charging stations to some of its other apartment properties and make them a standard feature of all of its future developments. The company's goal is to enable renters to charge electric cars where they live.

The Fitzgerald is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) and is expected to become the largest LEED-certified apartment community in the Baltimore area. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and refers to an internationally recognized green building certification system.)

The Bozzuto Group, which is head-quartered in Washington, D.C., is a residential real-estate company. Since the company's founding in the 1980's, they have developed, acquired, and built over 31,000 houses and apartments. The Fitzgerald is one of their more recent projects.

SemaConnect is the only company on the East Coast making electric car charging stations. They are based in Annapolis.