State Accepts Donation of Maryland's First Solar Utility Vehicle - Southern Maryland Headline News

State Accepts Donation of Maryland's First Solar Utility Vehicle

BP America donates solar-charged vehicle to State of Maryland Vehicle Fleet

OCEAN CITY, Md. (Aug. 17, 2007) – Governor Martin O’Malley today accepted Maryland’s first solar-charged, all-terrain vehicle on behalf of the State of Maryland.

The Solar Utility Vehicle (SUV) was donated by BP America, and will become part of the Department of General Services vehicle fleet. During his remarks, Governor O’Malley renewed his commitment to increasing the number of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles in the state’s fleet to reduce costs and auto-emissions.

“I am proud to accept Maryland’s first 100% solar-charged vehicle in our State’s fleet,” said Governor O’Malley. “We are committed to making our state’s vehicle fleet as environmentally-friendly as possible to reduce auto-emissions and costs for the people of Maryland. Working together with innovative companies like BP, Maryland will be a leader in the renewable energy economy.”

The BP SUV has 31 horsepower and has over 170 pounds of torque. The photovoltaic cells on the vehicle were manufactured at BP Solar’s facility in Frederick, Md. The cells charge the vehicle’s batteries which offer a quiet, clean, non-polluting means of transportation for parks and wildlife areas.

“BP is pleased to be able to donate this Solar Utility Vehicle to the state of Maryland, where we operate the largest fully-integrated solar facility in North America,” said Bruce Johnson, BP Government Affairs Director.

During the event, Governor O’Malley renewed the State’s commitment to expanding the use of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles in the State’s fleet. The Maryland Department of Budget and Management has conducted an audit of all state vehicles and has developed a plan to expand the use of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles. The plan will be presented during the Board of Public Works meeting next Wednesday, August 22, 2007.

“Innovative Maryland based companies, like BP Solar, are proving that economic growth and clean energy go hand-in-hand. This solar powered car is an example of how we can successfully transition Maryland from a carbon economy into a cleaner and more sustainable renewable economy,” said Malcolm Woolf, Director of Maryland Energy Administration.

The State’s vehicle fleet currently has 1,070 vehicles that meet federal alternative fuel standards, and has 30 hybrids. Ninety-one percent of the state’s diesel vehicles use bio-diesel fuel – a fuel that is efficient, domestically produced and renewable. Bio-diesel fuel also helps reduce emissions and is economically feasible.

The BP SUV will be given to the Department of General Services and will be used to help the police fleet provide security for the State House, the Miller and James Senate Office Buildings, the Lowe and Taylor House Office Buildings, the Legislative Services Building, and the Louis L. Goldstein Treasury Building.

“The State Capital is about to get greener,” said Maryland Department of General Services (DGS) Secretary Alvin C. Collins. “This new pollution-free, noise-free solar vehicle will be integrated into our DGS Police fleet and will better enable our officers to patrol the Annapolis government office center grounds.”

The BP Solar facility in Frederick, Md is the largest fully-integrated solar facility in North America. BP recently broke ground on the expansion of the Frederick facility, doubling its capacity.

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