At Steer, the safety and well-being of our team and members is the number one priority. The impact of the ongoing pandemic has resulted in changes to many of our service offerings to strictly adhere to all CDC and local municipality guidelines. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our concierge team at (202) 556-3132.
However, on a lighter note, while we’re all hunkered down inside our homes, it doesn’t hurt to think about where we’ll go and what we’ll do just as soon as we’re able to hop in the drivers’ seat again. Instead of going stir-crazy, may we suggest planning your future trip as something to look forward to?
While planning trips, one issue for many EV drivers is range anxiety – you want to know how far you can go and how you’ll keep the car powered up along the way, since it’s not the same as stopping at the pump like they’re used to. DC, Virginia, and Maryland have quite a vast network of electric car charging stations in place. Here are some day trips you can start to plan, without the worry of knowing where to find the next charger.
Theme Parks, Natural Parks, & Other Local Attractions
Big theme parks often have dedicated charging stations, so if you live near a major park like Six Flags or some other similar attraction, you’ll probably be able to add this to your network. But there are also different types of park and rec areas that offer charging without fighting all of that theme park traffic. Take the iconic Rock Creek Park that bisects D.C.- there may not be any chargers directly in the natural areas around the parkway. Still, there are ample SemaConnect and Chargepoint stations and others nearby, clustered less than a mile away in neighborhoods like Adams Morgan and American University Park. If you want to hit some trendy spots down there, you should be able to plug-in with no problem. Or you can hike up to Rock Creek Park or enjoy a drive with the windows down on Rock Creek Parkway, enjoying some of the best scenery in the area.
Take a look at your local park network and see where municipalities may have put in charging stations. In many of these places, you can drive right up to a charging station from the road, as parks have added the electric vehicle facilities in easily accessible parking lots. Because of the way that small public parks are built, there is often an opportunity to optimize access.
Many municipalities and organizations want to be seen as thought leaders on the environment, so they have put in free electric vehicle charging stations for motorists.
These government and business groups see the electric charging station as something like a library donation. This public convenience benefits everyone and increases civic participation in ways that also promote energy sustainability.
This can work out to your benefit if you’re trying to get further around the northern Virginia area and beyond. For example, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, you can see that part of the county’s comprehensive “greening” of operations involved putting in electric car charging stations at public offices. PG County is also going solar in many exciting ways, which may make green energy more sustainable when you do power up.
Stadiums & Arenas
Lots of communities invest in electric car chargers around stadiums and arenas because these are economic hubs for visitors, and D.C. is no exception. While we’re still waiting to see how sports will resume this summer and fall, charging stations are open for use and available.
For example, if you go to the website of FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, you’ll see that they’ve installed no less than ten electric vehicle charging stations in various parking lots. Some of the stations are right outside the stadium itself and offer easy access for tailgaters. Check for stations in the stadium’s south purple permit lot and A-one platinum lot – you’ll see the attractive design and easy access of charging your car at the home of the Washington Redskins.
FedEx Field has recently installed massive solar arrays over the parking lot that provide the bulk of the stadium’s power needs. That’s impressive, and it’s another way that planners are integrating more support for electric vehicles into their building plans. That’s important for FedEx Field in particular, because of all of the daily traffic that the site sees regularly. The metro system helps – but traffic is a fact of life here and elsewhere in the area. EV design can help, if drivers combine their green ride with public transit.
Mall-Adjacent Charging Stations
Another way to make use of electric car chargers in Washington D.C. is to utilize some of the convenient stations near major landmarks down by the National Mall. There’s a ChargePoint charging station off of 12th St. and Independence Avenue, just a block from the Smithsonian Museum, and another one a couple of blocks south – that’s walking distance from the Hirshhorn Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, and other iconic landmarks. Up nearer to the Capitol, there is a ChargePoint station adjacent to L’Enfant Plaza and three more stations beneath the Museum of the Bible toward the Beltway. It’s worth noting that any of these stations are basically within walking distance of each other, so drivers hardly need to worry that they “missed a station” or that they’ll need to backtrack to get powered up.
You only have to go a little bit further into either Navy Yard or the neighborhood west of it to find additional charging stations if you happen to be a little further afield.
Having a half-dozen stations within a few blocks of the United States Capitol and the Library of Congress means that there’s quite a bit of access for electric car drivers. There is also a selection of stations scattered above the mall near Lower Senate Park and Judiciary Square, with adjacent charging networks is Union Station just to the north, offering walking access to so many famous landmarks.
Further north, you can get charging access near stations like Shaw-Howard University and Georgia Ave.-Petworth. This is handy for travelers who may be coming from further away and using the Metro system for the last leg of their journey. In fact, “pegging” EV car stations to the metro system is a very deliberate move. It allows for that interconnectedness that makes the D.C. area such a stalwart supporter of EV driving. When you have electric vehicle charging stations situated all along the METRO line, it can increase ridership on those routes, while also helping with the trend toward using a battery to power your car instead of a gasoline engine. This is something urban planners are looking at everywhere, with the idea of the “smart city” so much in vogue. Still, D.C. is “smarter” than a lot of cities – which is perhaps proper since it is home to the centers of the national government. Although it’s been a long time coming, new renewable energy efforts are underway in significant ways near our capital.
While air travel is currently on pause for most people, it’s helpful to know that when you’re ready to fly again, charging is easy and accessible in the Washington D.C. area where the local airports are major travel hubs. Airports are often a convenient source of electric car charging stations, and one good example is Baltimore-Washington International. Coming off of 295 to 195 south, you see a cluster of charging stations both to the east and west, and even more as you go down into the BWI parking areas. SemaConnect and other charging stations are located to the west of long-term parking and near BWI employee parking areas. With these charging stations integrated into the airport’s layout, electric car drivers have an advantage when it comes to powering up there.
Northern Virginia Charging Stations
Another way to get your electric vehicle powered up in the D.C. area is to utilize stations further out in Northern Virginia. Veterans of the highway 50 commute will know that Fairfax is a critical way station to the west, and the suburb has two central stations, a Tesla Destination station, and an EvGo station, as well as other auxiliary stations. There’s another station nearby in Centerville and a Blink charging station near Fair Oaks Mall. That’s quite a lot of coverage, and your GPS will most certainly have plenty of options for finding your next charge.
Having these charging stations available means drivers can plan their trips into the district in a way that allows them to power up to have enough range to get around where they need to go, and then come back to a suburb like Fairfax.
Suppose you’re coming in from Fairfax traveling east, and you want to visit the Hirshhorn and the Air and Space Museum with the kids. You can charge up as needed in Fairfax, and then again below the Capitol Mall as you explore. Having dual charging opportunities means that you can manage how you get power to your vehicle, ensuring that you never run out of energy. That’s a valuable accommodation in an area where you can’t always plan your trip to a T.
Even if you decide to take extra time to drive around looking at presidential memorials, you’ll know there’s a collection of stations, both at the Capitol Mall and out on the fringes toward the beginning or end of your trip. That helps drivers to rest easy about any last-resort options.
Maryland Charging Stations
Up in Maryland, you have charging stations in Silver Spring as well as further out in Beltsville, Laurel, and beyond. On the west side, there are stations in areas like Rockville and Gaithersburg. For example, Rockville has several stations available, and we’ve already covered the way that PG County is moving to add stations, too.
The way that this network of electric vehicle charging stations is situated is essential. What it means is that electric car drivers who are motoring around this area will not have to worry about being stranded somewhere that doesn’t have accessible charging available. Prestigious suburbs have their fair share of chargers, so in extended travel, you need to plan ahead to be out near a particular spot and get more energy there.
Waterfront Electric Vehicle Stations
With the unique location of the nation’s capital in a sort of landlocked area, there are not a lot of beachfront electric charging stations around northern Virginia or D.C. However, as you go down near the Potomac River, you’ll see a collection of stations that keep this option available for EV drivers. Then, also, if you are likely to visit beaches relatively nearby, like Virginia Beach, you’ll see stations there, too.
Looking at a greater map of the mid-Atlantic area, you’ll see that Washington D.C. and its surrounding countryside represent one of the biggest electric vehicle hubs in the country. It’s a very reasonable place to drive an electric vehicle for this reason. Different states and areas are experiencing the electric car revolution in their own ways. The District of Columbia, as well as Virginia and Maryland, has some leadership that has invested in early efforts to accommodate renewable power and electric vehicle setups.
Steer is a great way to take advantage of this effective charging system, with EVs that get you everywhere you need to go in style and with the latest cutting-edge technology. Steer’s Concierge team will help you find charging stations in your area and answer any questions you have about charging, so you have complete peace of mind. Take a look to see how you can get behind the wheel of a high-performance electric car and experience the clean revolution yourself, without worrying about range anxiety.