Drivers of electric vehicles will soon be able to recharge at select locations along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The Turnpike Commission announced today that it expects to open electric-vehicle charging stations at four of its service plazas this summer. The charging stations will be available at these locations:
- the Oakmont plaza in Allegheny County;
- the New Stanton plaza in Westmoreland County
- the Bowmansville plaza in Lancaster County; and
- the King of Prussia plaza in Montgomery County.
The charging stations will be located near the rear of the plaza parking lots – generally behind the service-plaza buildings. Customers will pay at the charging station with a credit card. Eventually, the plan is to offer electric-vehicle charging at all 17 of the service plazas that dot the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s 550-mile system.
“We’re thrilled to offer our customers another energy choice when it comes to fueling up,” says Jack Christensen, the Turnpike Commission’s facilities director. “The Turnpike has a track record of innovation when it comes to alternative fuels, and in fact we were among the first to offer an E-85 pump for public-access when we reopened our Oakmont Service Plaza in 2007.”
The Pennsylvania Turnpike charging stations are made possible through a partnership between the Turnpike and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). In December, 2011, the DEP awarded a $1 million Alternative Fuel Investment Grant to Car Charging Group of Miami Beach, Fla. to help stimulate the electric-car market in the commonwealth.
“Gov. Corbett has consistently advocated for a true, ‘all-of-the-above’ energy policy; certainly, Pennsylvania has the resources and expertise to lead an American energy revolution,” says Acting DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo. “This commitment to charging stations at Turnpike service plazas is further proof that good business practices and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive.”
The Turnpike Commission is supplying $500,000 of infrastructure support funds that will help with the cost of the transformers, electric lines and meters. Car Charging Group, which will match the $1 million grant, will be providing the electric-vehicle charging equipment and services.
A cost for the consumer has yet to be set, but will be announced prior the opening of the stations this summer.
Christensen called the initiative a component of an ongoing Turnpike program to reduce the commission’s carbon footprint.
“This is part of our continuing plan to ‘go green’ not only at our service plazas – but at all other facilities and even with our entire fleet of equipment,” he said. “All service plazas now feature recycling containers as well as high-efficiency hand dryers in restrooms courtesy of our partners, HMSHost.”
HMSHost also uses recyclable products and products made from recycled materials such as its napkins. All cleaning supplies are also eco-friendly.
Bucks County State Representative Tina Davis has also advocated recycling initiatives, and even sponsors a bill requiring the Turnpike to recycle.
“More than 510,000 motorists travel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike each day,” says Rep. Davis. “Many travelers stop at rest areas during their trips, in part, to discard trash and recyclables in an environmentally conscious manner.”
The Pennsylvania Turnpike operates and maintains more than 550 miles of toll roads in the state. It oversees 62 fare-collection facilities, 17 operational service plazas (two are temporarily closed for renovations) and 22 maintenance facilities. To learn more, visit www.paturnpike.com.