EV Charging

EVs are powered by batteries that must be recharged from an electric source. Compared to gasoline, electricity is more affordable and cost-steady. In Montgomery County, powering your vehicle from the electric grid reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 70-75% compared to an internal combustion vehicle.

There are many ways to charge an electric vehicle. The most convenient way to charge your EV is at home. Charging is also available at workplaces, retail locations, parks, highway rest areas, and parking garages throughout our region. This page will help you understand the different ways to charge, how long it takes, where to find public charging, and how to install EV charging equipment at your property. 

Types of EV ChargersCharging Safety and Best Practices | Find Charging in Montgomery County

Install Charging:
Home | Apartments and Condos | Commercial Property| I ncentives for Charging Equipment


Types of EV Chargers

Here are some quick facts about EV Charging, also called EV Supply Equipment (EVSE).

Level 1 Chargers

  • home charger level 1 Level 1 Chargers use standard 120V outlets, which are found around the home and used by most home electronics. Every EV can be charged at Level 1 -- in most cases, the adapter is included with the vehicle. Level 1 charging supplies about 5 miles of range for every 1 hour of charging. Charging overnight provides 40 miles of range, which is enough for most typical drivers. Fully charging on Level 1 can take a day or longer. 

Level 2 Chargers

  • home charger level 2 Level 2 Chargers use 240V circuits. 240V outlets are sometimes found in homes for use with certain dryers and stovetops – if not available in your home, you can hire an electrician to install one. Level 2 charging supplies about 25 miles of range for every hour of charge. This type of charging equipment is commonly found in shopping centers, public parking garages, recreational areas, apartment buildings, and many workplaces.

Level 3 Chargers

  • public charging level 3 Level 3 Chargers, or Direct Current (DC) Fast Chargers (aka DCFC) use high-powered 480V circuits for rapid EV charging. DCFCs are only found at public charging stations and can supply about 40 miles of charge in 10 minutes.

Networked EV Chargers 

Networked, or “smart chargers,” are connected through remote cloud technology and can be operated through a mobile app. Users can remotely monitor their charging status, control the charging duration, make payments, set reminders, schedule charging, track energy usage, etc. 

Non-Networked chargers are solitary functioning units and cannot track charging data or other operational data. Due to their simplicity, they are often inexpensive. 

EV Charging Safety and Best Practices

According to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), EVs are safe to charge at your home or business when operated correctly with certified charging equipment. FEMA provides EV charging safety tips in this article.

Data compiled from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), and from Recalls.gov shows that electric vehicles are less likely to catch fire than gas-powered vehicles. EV battery fires have occurred when the battery becomes damaged or punctured, which can result in fires that last longer and require more resources to extinguish than other car fires.

EV batteries can last 10-20 years or up to 300,000 miles if they are maintained well. To maximize the life and performance of your battery:

  • ​Try to usually keep the charge level between 20-80% and moderately charge your vehicle every 2-3 days.
  • Avoid depleting the battery entirely and only charge to 100% before taking a long-range trip. You can use automatic features to limit the total charge to 90%.
  • Avoid daily use of DC fast charging, which places more strain on the battery. 

What Does it Cost?
EV charging costs about $40-$80 per month if you drive 40 miles a day. Calculate your fuel and cost savings using Pepco’s EV Savings & Benefits tool.   

Find EV Charging in Montgomery County

There are over 500 charging plugs open to the public in Montgomery County, including 100 DC Fast Chargers. Twenty-two (22) conveniently located EV charging stations are available at parking facilities in downtown Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton. Maps of those locations are available from the  Division of Parking ManagementLocal utilities have also installed charging at parks and other public facilities.

Check the Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center or charging station location services such as Plugshare to find an EV charger near you.

Install EV Charging

Montgomery County is ready to support residents and businesses who want to install charging stations on their property. You will need an electrical permit from Montgomery County to complete your project.  Please see these resources for guidance on the permitting process for residents and  commercial entities. 

Home Charging

Charging at home is one of the biggest benefits of EVs. In fact, over 90% of EV drivers regularly charge their vehicles at home.  Download our  At-Home EV Charging Guide for information to get started. 

Technical Requirements
Charge at home by plugging the manufacturer-provided Level 1 charging cable into a standard 120V outlet or install a Level 2 charger on a 240V circuit.  You will need 30-50 amps capacity in your panel box.

A licensed electrician can evaluate your current electrical system and advise if you need to upgrade your panel or need additional wiring. Equipment and installation costs $1,500 on average for a Level 2 system, but costs can vary widely depending on the electrical work needed.

Apply for a residential electrical permit from the Department of Permitting Services to install a Level 2 charging station for your garage or driveway.

Curbside Right-of-Way Charging
Residents without off-street parking have the option to apply for a right-of-way permit to install curbside charging equipment in the public right-of-way. The homeowner is responsible for arranging and paying for equipment and installation. Residents may not reserve a parking space on the public street in front of the charging station or take payment for charging, but you may lock the charging equipment or use automatic features to control access. Multiple property owners may coordinate to install one or more shared EV chargers on the street to share costs and use of the charging infrastructure.  

Choosing Equipment and Installer
There are multiple equipment suppliers and installers to choose from. When selecting equipment, check eligibility requirements for utility incentive programs. Equipment vendors or your electric utility may be able to connect you to installer partners. Always work with a licensed electrical contractor. 

EV Charging for Apartments, Condos, and Townhomes

EV charging is a valuable amenity for apartments and common ownership communities, providing residents with cost savings and convenience. Simplify your multifamily EV charging project by following these steps:

  1. Survey residents to understand current and future demand for EV charging. Visit VCI-MUD.org for survey templates and other resources.
  2. Conduct a site review with a licensed electrician to design your project and select your equipment.
  3. Contact the Montgomery County Green Bank for low-interest financing and technical assistance.
  4. Contact your electric utility for incentives and power needs.
  5. Apply for a commercial building permit and electrical permit and follow all regulations and best practices for accessibility.
  6. Create guidelines and educate residents about best practices to make the most of your shared resource.  

The average cost for equipment and installation for commercial EV charging is around $6,000 per station. Costs can vary significantly based on the amount of electrical work needed.

The webinar below provides information and recommendations from the Departments of Environmental Protection and Permitting Services, the Commission on Common Ownership Communities, Pepco, the Montgomery County Green Bank, and Clarksburg Condominium II Association.


Commercial Properties

Workplaces are ideal locations for convenient and affordable EV charging. Both Level 1 and Level 2 charging are useful for employees that leave their vehicle parked for the workday. Charging access can be limited to employees or available to visitors and can be provided for free or can be set up to require payment. Visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center for more information about workplace charging.

Retail locations can also attract visitors by installing charging. Charging during a meal or shopping trip can be a great way to keep your EV battery topped up. 

Installing commercial charging requires both a building permit and electrical permit. Contact the Montgomery County Green Bank for low-cost financing and technical resources. If your business is located in one of the County’s Transportation Management Districts, there may be additional resources and requirements for EV charging. 

Incentives for EVSE

There are a number of incentive and financing programs to help residents, multifamily property owners, and businesses install charging:

Montgomery County’s Green Bank offers financing for EV charging stations for commercial, property owners, and residents in Montgomery County. 

Maryland Energy Administration offers incentives for EV supply equipment, but funding for this program was exhausted as of December 2022. New funding may be available beginning July 1, 2023. Visit MEA’s website for the current programs that support EVs throughout Maryland.  

Electric utilities servicing Montgomery County offer incentives for EV charging as well. Check your utility’s website for the current availability of these programs.  

  • Pepco’s EVSmart Program provides Maryland residential customers with residential charger rebates, special Time-of-Use discounted rates for off-peak charging and a managed charging program that gives the utility some control over your EV charger. Pepco also offers incentives for commercial multifamily customers and provides charging discounts for commercial fleets. 
  • Potomac Edison’s EV Driven Program gives residential and multifamily property charging rebates on qualifying EV charging stations, as well as off-peak charging rewards.  
  • BGE’s EVSmart Program offers incentives on residential chargers, multifamily property chargers, and a special Time-of-Use (TOU) discounted rate for off-peak EV charging 


Contact Us

Have a specific question about EVs that’s not covered here? Contact us at  AskDEP@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov.