The combustion of fossil fuels in on-road transportation, including travel by passenger vehicles, freight and service vehicles, and transit vehicles, is the largest source of emissions in Howard County. Maximizing the use of electric vehicles and reducing our vehicle miles traveled (VMT) will reduce our emissions by 34%.
Impact of EV Adoption
Transportation represents the largest source of GHG emissions within Howard County- accounting for 53% of the County's GHG emissions in 2019. To achieve emissions reduction goals, it is vital to reduce tail pipe emissions. Increasing the adoption of EVs in the public and private sector has the potential to reduce these emissions, both within the community at large and within government operations.
Currently, only 1% of personal vehicles in the county are plug-in electric vehicles. Increasing the percentage of EVs in Howard County to 50% can reduce GHG emissions 28% by 2045. This is the single most impactful action to reduce the County's footprint!
Leading by Example: Municipal Fleet
Howard County government has already taken steps toward addressing vehicle emissions by adopting a Green Fleet Policy in 2020. The policy addresses reducing idling, increasing fuel efficiency, right sizing the fleet, and purchasing electric vehicles. Approximately 25% of the Howard County government fleet already is either electric or hybrid, including public safety and administrative vehicles, with plans to continue replacing aging fleet vehicles with electric or hybrids whenever possible.
Howard County also has significantly increased the availability of electric vehicle charging stations for fleet vehicles, employees, and the public by adding 62 new charging stations at more than a dozen County facilities over the past four years.
More EVs on the road means fewer gasoline-burning cars, which can significantly lower our transportation emissions and improve local air quality. Use the Station Locator to find an EV charging station near you!
Use the Advanced Filters tab to select locations with your vehicle's plug type. You can even plan your next trip with the Map a Route feature!
What You Can Do
Maximize the Use of Electric Vehicles
Call to Action: Help family, friends, neighbors, and other community members purchase electric vehicles. Peer-to-peer ambassadors can share information and their personal experiences with EVs.
Although EVs reduce emissions, they do not eliminate them. Increased use of public transportation and shifting to walking and biking will further reduce emissions from transportation. Safe, comfortable, and low-stress infrastructure is critical to encouraging more walking and biking.
Howard County had the fifth highest vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Maryland in 2019. High VMT contributes to transportation being the largest source of GHG emissions within Howard County. Opportunities to lower VMT include expanding transit options and reliability, increasing transportation connections from homes to jobs and amenities, expanding non-motorized transportation options, increasing telework opportunities, and encouraging behavior changes. Expanding transit access has the additional benefit of improving equitable access for those with few mobility options
Leading by Example: Public Transportation
Howard County provides fixed route and paratransit services via the Regional Transit Agency (RTA), which operates 15 local fixed bus routes in Howard County, Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel County, and the City of Laurel. RTA connects with MTA Commuter Bus services, the MARC Train, Metrorail, and other local transit systems. Howard County offers unlimited free rides on its fixed bus routes for people ages 60 and up, and reduced rates for students.
RTA Mobility is a curb-to-curb, shared ride transportation service for passengers who are unable to ride fixed route buses due to a disability or age. Explore the RTA and other local service providers here!
What You Can Do
Reduce Your Vehicle Miles Traveled
Call to Action: Reduce vehicle miles traveled by driving less and helping others do the same.