(CNN) — The first fully converted gas-to-electric refueling station for electric vehicles opened today at 7224 Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park, Maryland.
Like any new business, as the first of its kind in the US, owner Depeswar Doley is fully aware that it’s a gamble that may not pay off.
However, it was his daughter that convinced him to take the plunge.
Doley, who owns RS Automotives, received a call from a public city official last year who first suggested the idea to him. He had already been upset with how oil and gas companies structure contracts, which is one of the reasons he didn’t immediately dismiss the radical idea.
Wanting to give it more thought, he went home to speak to his family.
His daughter, who was in high school, lectured him about what was happening with the environment, and that was enough to convince him that it was the right decision to make.
“It’s good for the environment,” Doley tells CNN. “I’m not doing this just to nickel and dime, thinking about how much money I’m going to make — no. I know this is a good cause, and this is something new. What I’m doing, maybe it will encourage other businesses owners and encourage the electric car business.”
Maryland currently has 20,700 registered electric vehicles.
A grant of $786,000 provided by the Electric Vehicle Institute and Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) helped make the conversion possible.
“Maryland is proud to be a national leader when it comes to clean and renewable energy, climate change, and the promotion of electric infrastructure and vehicles,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This fully-converted, gas-to-electric charging station is a prime example of our administration’s commitment to the environment and transportation.”
The refueling station has a high-powered 200 kilowatt, four dispenser system. This allows four electric vehicles to charge simultaneously within 20 to 30 minutes.
It is also a certified repair facility that can handle any service needs, including disposing of and replacing battery packs.
“This thing is so new, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Doley said. “It might flop, or it might work out — we have no clue at all. We’re just crossing our fingers, and in the back of my mind, I know this is something good for the environment.”