Pa. Turnpike Aims for EV Chargers at Every Plaza by 2027
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The Pennsylvania Turnpike should have electric vehicle charging stations at every service plaza by January 2027, officials said.
The project won’t cost the turnpike anything, but the turnpike will earn a percentage of gross electricity sales, turnpike Chief Financial Officer Richard Dreher said. Dreher said the percentage must still be negotiated.
Each will be a supercharger, which means a full charge will take no more than 30 minutes.
The turnpike has 48 superchargers at six service plazas:
- Eight northbound and eight southbound at Hickory Run in Carbon County
- Eight at the Peter J. Camiel plaza in Elverson, Chester County
- Eight at Bowmansville, eastbound, in Lancaster County
- Eight at North Somerset, westbound, in Somerset County
- Eight at South Somerset, eastbound, in Somerset County
Other plazas have slower chargers, which can take four or five hours. They are at:
- New Stanton, westbound, in Westmoreland County
- Oakmont Plum, eastbound, in Allegheny County
- King of Prussia, westbound, in Montgomery County
- Bowmansville in Lancaster County
- Peter J. Camiel plaza in Chester County
As of the end of 2022, only 42,785 electric vehicles were registered in Pennsylvania, or about 0.4% of all registrations. Only 380 were registered in Luzerne County and only 290 in Lackawanna. Five of every nine electric vehicles are registered in Philadelphia and its eight closest neighboring counties, which is the reason most turnpike chargers are there.
Allentown, the only other service plaza on the turnpike’s northeast extension, does not have chargers now.
“Our goal is to have these at every service plaza, just like gas and diesel,” Dreher said.
Trucks travel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. (paturnpike.com)
Anecdotally, turnpike officials have heard of lines waiting for charging, but generally it isn’t a major problem.
“[Maybe] at Thanksgiving, everybody’s on the road headed to grandma’s house, but that is the goal. We don’t want to have congestion; we don’t want to have lines,” Dreher said. “When we start hitting certain thresholds of utilization, we will require the company to deploy more chargers so you don’t have [lines]. Even with a fast charge, it’s 15-20 minutes.”
Dreher said he isn’t sure of the order of installation, but the state Department of Transportation will control the flow of federal funds that help pay the costs.
On Sept. 21, PennDOT announced the awarding of $2.6 million to Applegreen to install superchargers at Oakmont Plum, Peter J. Camiel, Sideling Hill in Fulton County, Bowmansville and New Stanton.
“Our work to continue investing these funds will not only help build out our electric vehicle charging network but will create good-paying jobs across Pennsylvania,” PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll said in a statement.
PennDOT is in the midst of adding enough electric charging stations to interstates so that there’s one every 50 miles.
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