Reporting Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Emptying your pocket to fill the gas tank is a reality for most of us now. But it doesn’t have to be the future. At least that’s the finding of a new study.
Alex DeMetrick reports getting off oil might come sooner to Maryland than many other states.
When gas climbed to $4 and up this past spring, it’s the numbers that did the crunching.
“It’s skyrocketed in the past two years,” said Lisa Harris, motorist. “It’s gone up like $2.25 a gallon the past two years. That’s ridiculous.”
Even though it’s come down, price volatility figures into this study by the group Environment Maryland, which sees a way to get off oil.
“The report outlines a number of policies for both transportation and energy to help us reduce our dependency in the state by over one billion gallons of oil over the coming decades,” said Foster Hardiman, Environment Maryland.
Alternative sources to produce electricity are a standard component of that future, but the biggest game changer would be better gas mileage for cars.
“Sixty miles per gallon by 2025,” said Hardiman.
Or better yet, no gas. There’s all electric vehicles, and Maryland is ahead of many states in infrastructure.
“We are in a leadership position right now to have some 70 electric vehicle charging stations installed statewide,” said Jill Sorenson, Electric Vehicle Initiative.
Mahi Reddy, CEO of SemaConnect EV Technology, is already putting people to work on it. His Annapolis company builds those charging stations, the kind that power his Chevy Volt.
“There is a lot of pent-up demand out there,” Reddy said. “You see so many Priuses around in urban areas, and I think that’s what you’re going to see with these cars as well.”
The big problem is paying for that new oil-free technology. Gas cars are cheaper now, but maybe not down the road.
“You’re going to see continued price drops, to the point by 2015 this will actually be cheaper than buying an internal combustion engine car,” Reddy said.
That’s provided the car’s expensive batteries cost less as more are made. But right now, it only costs 3 cents to go one mile with electricity, versus 15-20 cents on gas.
“That’s a huge savings,” Reddy said, and according to the study, a game changer when it comes to depending on foreign oil.
Environment Maryland’s study says reducing oil consumption will also improve air quality in the state.