The EV charging stations, which provide 220 volts with 32 amps of power, are located near the rear of the plaza parking lots - generally behind the service-plaza buildings.
Customers can pay and initiate a charging session with a Blink InCard or by calling the toll-free number noted on the charging station to use a credit card.
The cost to charge is $1 per hour for Blink members and $2 per hour for customers using a credit card. Customers can obtain a free Blink InCard and become a member at http://www.BlinkNetwork.com.
"We are excited to provide energy conscious drivers with a choice that lets them fuel their electric vehicles at our service plazas," says Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. "The Turnpike has a track record of innovation when it comes to alternative fuels, 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 Inc. ("CarCharging") (OTCQB: CCGI) 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 DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abbruzo. "This commitment to EV 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. CarCharging, which matched the $1 million grant, is providing and operating the EV charging equipment and services.
"Within the next two weeks, two more service plazas will have electric charging stations: Oakmont plaza in Allegheny County and New Stanton plaza in Westmoreland County," says Turnpike COO Craig Shuey. Eventually, the plan is to offer EV charging at all 17 service plazas that dot the Pennsylvania Turnpike system."
CarCharging President Andy Kinard said CarCharging has been a pioneer in providing public EV charging services. "We are delighted to partner with the PTC and DEP to offer EV charging services to travelers along the PA Turnpike," he said. "We are proud to expand the locations and support drivers as they travel throughout Pennsylvania."
Besides EV charging, the Turnpike is also exploring other alternative fuels, specifically Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). "Mack Truck of Macungie, Pa. built a CNG-fueled truck to lease to the Turnpike for one year at a cost of $1," adds Shuey. "This is part of our plan to 'go green' not only at service plazas - but at all other facilities and eventually with our entire fleet of equipment."
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 (one is temporarily closed for renovations) and 22 maintenance facilities. To learn more, visit http://www.paturnpike.com.
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