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02.07.12 Howard County Hits the Road with Zero Emissions

February 7, 2012

Media Contact: Kevin Enright, Director, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022

Howard County Hits the Road with Zero Emissions

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Ken Ulman is pleased to announce that the County has gone zero emissions with its two new Nissan Leaf electric vehicles.

“These two new vehicles will help Howard County reduce its fuel cost and dependency on petroleum,” said County Executive Ulman. “This is just the latest step in our initiative to make Howard County a leader in environmental sustainability and the protection of our natural resources.”

A full performance electric vehicle, the County’s new 2012 Nissan Leaf is the first electric car to offer the County a driving range of approximately 100 miles a charge, depending on weather and driving habits. The Leaf gives drivers the option to choose between two modes of vehicle operation, Eco Mode or Drive Mode.

The Eco Mode reduces the vehicles power consumption by reducing acceleration as compared to the same accelerator pedal position in the Drive Mode. In Eco Mode, the Leaf’s more regenerative brake is applied when the accelerator pedal is released. As a result, Eco Mode consumes less power for the traction motor, heater and air conditioner operations which extends the travel range of the vehicle and provides more power to the Lithium-Ion battery. The vehicle’s estimated annual electric cost is $600.

The two new Leaf vehicles will be assigned to the Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits. They will be charged and stored at the County’s Thomas Dorsey Building in Columbia, where the County unveiled its first electric vehicle charging station in November. The charging station is equipped with five, 240V charge outlets and is available for use FREE of charge. The County received the charging station through a grant received by BEVI from the Maryland Energy Administration’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program.

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