The city, along with Baltimore-based Electric Vehicle Institute, an EV charging infrastructure company, provided information to Doley, who then brought the idea up to his wife and teenage daughter at dinner that evening.
Doley said his daughter was especially enthusiastic about the idea, and that enthusiasm ended up motivating him to make the switch.
A $786,000 grant from the Electric Vehicle Institute and the Maryland Energy Administration helped make the suggestion a reality. The project required removing the gas station's big underground storage tanks and repaving the lot.
"A lot of people would've just razed the entire lot and built from scratch," said Matthew Wade, CEO of Electric Vehicle Institute. "But with the configuration of the gas pumps and the canopy above, we were able to reuse the existing infrastructure."
The project also was able to reuse the old gas pumps' concrete mounting pads and electrical connections.
In late September, RS Automotive became the first gas station in the United States to convert from gas pumps to EV charging, according to the Maryland Energy Administration and the governor's office. As of July, there were about 21,000 registered EVs in Maryland, Wade said.
"What makes this station unique is not just that it's the first conversion, but that it reimagines the refueling center," Wade said. A 200-kilowatt system powers the four vehicle chargers.
Charging was complimentary for the first three weeks after the opening, Doley said, which drew a lot of people to try it out. Customers now pay a flat fee of $2.50 to use the chargers, plus 20 cents a minute. Customer volume has dropped since Doley started to charge for usage.
"We are a few years ahead of everybody," Doley he said of the conversion. "It's not that busy."
Because he originally planned to drop the gas business altogether, he is undeterred by the small stream of EV charging customers. On the bright side, the chargers are a bonus for a service station where vehicle maintenance and repair services extend to hybrid and EV owners.
"That's my main bread and butter," Doley said of the service station.