DEP allocates $3.4M for installation of 54 fast chargers in major traffic corridors

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday it’s offering bigger consumer rebates for electric vehicles, with a focus on working-class households, and providing $3.4 million in Pennsylvania Volkswagen settlement funds for installation of 54 DC fast chargers in 16 locations in major traffic corridors.

“DEP continues to work strategically to support Pennsylvanians’ growing interest in zero-emission electric vehicles, supporting for electric vehicle purchases to working-class Pennsylvanians and funding installation of fast chargers along major traffic corridors in locations where no fast charging infrastructure currently exists,” said DEP Acting Secretary Ramez Ziadeh.

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“By reducing nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, carbon dioxide, and other pollutants from the transportation sector, we make the air quality healthier in our communities, while helping to slow down climate change and its impacts,” Ziadeh added.

As of September 1, the DEP 2022-2023 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate program is offering Pennsylvanians a bigger rebate for the purchase of a new or used battery electric car or truck. The amount has increased from $750 to $2,000 or $3,000, depending on household income.

The program also lowered the household income levels eligible for a rebate. For example, a family of two with an income of $69,000 is eligible for a $2,000 rebate for a battery electric vehicle. A family of four with an income of $55,500 is eligible for a $3,000 rebate.

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With a total of $2 million available, the rebate program aims to help get about 1,000 more electric vehicles on the road in Pennsylvania.

The program was established by state law in 2004 and is funded by the utilities gross receipts tax.

The Driving PA Forward DC Fast Charging Grants program awarded $3.4 million in Pennsylvania Volkswagen settlement funds to projects that will install 54 DC fast chargers in 16 high-traffic locations in 12 counties. DC fast chargers can charge a battery electric vehicle to 80 percent in 20 to 60 minutes.

The majority of the projects will help build out electric vehicle corridors across Pennsylvania, where charging stations are available every 50 miles. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is heading up development of these corridors and other charging networks across the state, using National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funding.

In Berks County, the Driving PA Forward DC Fast Charging program provided a grant to Raceway Management Company, Inc. $222,752 to install two plugs at the Onvo Travel Plaza within a mile of I-78 Exit 13 in Bethel, Berks County.

With these grants, Driving PA Forward has now funded installation of 106 DC fast charging plugs in 34 locations around the state. Driving PA Forward launched in 2018 to permanently reduce NOx emissions in Pennsylvania by supporting clean transportation projects with funding from the commonwealth’s $118.5 million settlement with Volkswagen.

Battery electric vehicle registrations in Pennsylvania more than doubled from March 2020 to March 2022, from 11,343 to 23,689 registrations.

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