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Report: D.C. area should do more to support electric vehicles

A new study says the Washington region isn’t doing enough to encourage the use of electric vehicles.

The vehicles, which run on electric motors powered by rechargeable battery packs, could bring economic, environmental and energy security benefits, according to the report by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

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But the region’s charging infrastructure and policies are not sufficient to encourage widespread adoption of the vehicles, which number about 500 in the area.

There are 133 charging stations in the region, including 36 stations in the District.

The Electric Power Research Institute projects that there will be close to a million electric vehicles, or EVs, in the United States by 2015. In the Washington area, the institute estimates, based on past hybrid-vehicle sales and manufacturing production estimates, that there could be between 15,000 to 30,000 by 2015.

“These electric vehicle types can achieve environmental goals such as . . . [reducing] greenhouse gas emissions and can contribute to achieving sustainability goals in the region,” said Joan Rohlfs, COG’s environmental resources program director, who presented the report at the monthly meeting of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board.
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