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Electric car users soon to get charge out of driving Pa. Turnpike

4 service plazas will feature electric car charging stations this summer

Electric car users to get charge out of driving Pa. Turnpike

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Drivers of electric vehicles will soon be able to recharge their batteries at select locations along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced Tuesday that it expects to open electric-vehicle charging stations at four of its service plazas this summer.

The charging stations will be available at the Bowmansville plaza in Lancaster County, the King of Prussia plaza in Montgomery County, the Oakmont plaza in Allegheny County and the New Stanton plaza in Westmoreland County.

The charging stations will be located near the rear of the plaza parking lots, generally behind the service plaza buildings, officials said.

"We're thrilled to offer our customers another energy choice when it comes to fueling up," said Jack Christensen, the turnpike commission's facilities director. "The turnpike has a track record of innovation when it comes to alternative fuels."

The eventual plan, officials said, is to offer electric vehicle charging at all 17 of the turnpike service plazas.

The charging stations are being installed through a partnership between the turnpike and the state's Department of Environmental Protection.

The turnpike commission is supplying $500,000 to help pay for the transformers, electric lines and meters. Miami Beach-based Car Charging Group will match a $1 million grant from the DEP and provide the charging equipment and services.

Customers will pay at the charging station with a credit card, although the cost has not yet been set.

The new charging stations make up a larger effort to reduce the turnpike's carbon footprint, officials said.

"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," Christensen said. "All service plazas now feature recycling containers as well as high-efficiency hand dryers in restrooms, courtesy of our partners, HMSHost."

Pa. Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks Co., has also introduced a bill that would require the turnpike to recycle.

"More than 510,000 motorists travel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike each day," Davis said. "Many travelers stop at rest areas during their trips, in part, to discard trash and recyclables in an environmentally conscious manner."

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