Peter Hall, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
January 23, 2024
Federal and state officials on Tuesday announced the completion of the first electric vehicle charging station in Pennsylvania built as part of a $2.5 billion program to improve EV infrastructure across the country.
The charging station at the Pilot Travel Center on Route 315 in Pittston, Luzerne County is the first of 56 projects in 37 counties slated for construction under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Pennsylvania $171.5 million for EV charging stations under the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2022.
Like the Pilot Travel Center charging station in Luzerne County, the projects administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation are located at gas stations and other businesses directly off major interstate highways.
The milestone project in Pittston, one of the first in the nation under the EV infrastructure project, will help to grow Pennsylvania’s economy and ensure the commonwealth is prepared for the next generation of transportation, which will be cleaner, more affordable and more reliable than before, the Shapiro administration said in a statement.
“The Shapiro Administration is quickly making these federal investments work for Pennsylvanians and I’m proud that we remain among the nation’s leaders in expanding EV charging options,” Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll said. “In partnership with the companies electrifying these sites, we are creating healthier communities by reducing our carbon footprint and supporting clean-energy jobs.”
Open to the public since Dec. 21, the $610,393 Pilot Travel Center charging station was built in collaboration with General Motors. The chargers, installed by electric vehicle charging provider EVgo, allow four vehicles at a time to recharge while drivers have access to restrooms, food and other conveniences.
“President Biden’s infrastructure law is delivering results for Pennsylvania, from repairing aging roads and bridges to building new electric vehicle charging stations,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “These investments are helping America lead the electric vehicle revolution into the future.”
The federal EV infrastructure funding helps Pennsylvania and the federal government move toward its goal of expanding EV charging facilities along 1,800 miles of interstate highways in the commonwealth designated as Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs). Under federal guidelines, the funds must first be used to build charging stations no more than every 50 miles along the designated routes.
Once the AFCs are fully covered, PennDOT will shift to expanding EV charging infrastructure in communities. A second round of funding will make $22 million available to fill the remaining gaps in the AFC charging network, the Shaprio administration said in a statement.
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