gatedad11
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:30 am
Delivery Date: 11 Sep 2012

PA Turnpike Commission installing chargers

Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:28 am

Per recent on line article in Philadelphia newspapers, the PA Turnpike Commission is finally implementing their plan of installling chargers along the East/West Turnpike. Apparently, they will install at King Of Prussia, Lancaster, Harrisburg and then a Pittsburgh location(New Stanton?, I can't recall) at the rest stops. Those four will be installed this summer, with many more planned. I wonder if these will be Level II's or Level II QC's? Although nice in a pinch, I don't see the Level II's having a major impact on EV usage, as waiting for an hour to get 15 miles of charge is not really going to do the trick for most of us. My I-MiEV does not have the QC option, so even if Level II being installed, it won't do too much for me. However, I am still happy to see them doing this, it represents a step in the right direction. Also, if Level III's are being installed, those who have QC should appreciate it. Maybe this is the push that is neded, and if Level III QC's are more available, many more people would opt for the QC option in their EV. On the PA TNPK, at typical speeds on a decent weather day(Spring time) I would probably get no more than 55 miles range, that won't take me far enough to be able to make much effective use of the chargers, but as I said I am still gung ho that "something" is happening.

Lou

Shaka
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:57 pm
Delivery Date: 22 Dec 2012
Leaf Number: 026665
Location: Cleveland, Ohio - USA

Re: PA Turnpike Commission installing chargers

Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:51 am

Interesting. We have a 2012 Leaf with the QC (Level-3) option up front, so we could benefit from this if the distance works out right. For us on the freeway I'm with you, maybe 55 miles on a nice flat/warm summer day. For us to get to Pittsburgh Children's Museum with our 5-yr old for example would be 125 miles each way. But the half-way mark is actually south of Youngstown, not in PA. We're in Ohio ....

Never the less, like you, this sounds GREAT! I would love to replace our Leaf lease with a Tesla down the road. So seeing turnpikes in the surrounding states offer something that would work on future EVs that I may own with the distance to make use of them... YAY!!

gatedad11
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:30 am
Delivery Date: 11 Sep 2012

Re: PA Turnpike Commission installing chargers

Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:58 am

Maybe Ohio will eventually suit. Actually, I am sure that they will at some point. If the batteries on the LEAF(and I have an even smaller battery on my Mitsubishi I-MiEV)were just a little bit larger(say 20% more) a lot of people would find this doable. 100-125 mile trips could easily be made if only the batteries were a little bighgher and we had access to chargers. Again, though, Level III's make the difference in such a trip. Level II's are still too slow. Of course, the upgraded on board chargers of the 2013 Leaf would mean in an hour you'd get 20 miles, which aint bad...

Lou

garymelora
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:37 am
Delivery Date: 01 Apr 2012
Leaf Number: 018767
Location: King of Prussia, PA

Re: PA Turnpike Commission installing chargers

Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:58 am

I am glad to see progress in the charging infrastructure, but I am afraid that this could turn out to be a big waste of money, at least in the short term. I hope not, I pay extra money on my lease every month for a QC port that I will probably never use. The lease is up in less than 2 years, and I will turn in the car since there is no way that it will be worth the residual.

I agree that if the chargers are level 2 they will be useless. No one is going to wait at a turnpike rest station for 6 hours so they can drive 1 more hour until they need another charge.

Even if they are QCs, they are no good for long trips, because even a half hour stop for each hour of driving is ridiculous. I could see using a QC in Lancaster if I wanted to visit the outlet malls. One stop to charge so I can get home would be OK. The problem is that I would have to be able to count on that charger. If there is a line of cars in front of me to charge, I could be there for hours. If the charger is down, I would be completely shafted.
as of 6/19/15:
2012 SL; 63K miles, Lost First Bar at 42K Miles, second at 53K Miles, $0 Maintenance/Repairs, New Wiper Blades and Tires at 35K Miles, 94 Mile RT Daily Commute w/Level 1 Charge at Work.

OakLeaf
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:00 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Nov 2012
Location: Telford, PA

Re: PA Turnpike Commission installing chargers

Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:28 am

Back in February, I had an email conversation with the PA DEP Community Relations folks regarding the status of the "electric vehicle infrastructure" project (it's partially funded via a grant from their Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program).

Here's a summary of our exchange as I asked questions about schedule, location, charge rate (L2 vs L3) and type:

In checking with our Energy staff in Harrisburg, I confirmed that the Turnpike electric vehicle infrastructure project work is expected to begin this year and be completed by June 2014.

I don’t have an exact list, but confirmed that the plan includes installation of charging station at 17 Turnpike service plazas (two Level III and one Level II electric vehicle service stations at each plaza, except for three plazas accessible from both directions which will have four Level III and two Level II stations). When completed, the project will strategically place electric vehicle service stations at points east-west and along the north-south extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

These stations will go in as construction schedules dictate, with the renovation schedule of some rest stops coming into play.

There is no particular type specified in the contract -- we’re thinking it will be a combination of all on the market, providing the best coverage for the drivers on the Turnpike.
Apparently, the Car Charging Group will be providing the charging equipment and services.

The PA Turnpike press release is here: http://www.paturnpike.com/press/2013/20130423123241.htm
2012 Leaf SL - 78K miles since 11/2012 - No P3227 Update - 6 Bars / 33.68AHr / SOH 51.34% / Hx 45.23%

garymelora
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:37 am
Delivery Date: 01 Apr 2012
Leaf Number: 018767
Location: King of Prussia, PA

Re: PA Turnpike Commission installing chargers

Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:45 am

Thank you, Oakleaf, for that post. I commute daily from KOP to Telford so I have probably seen you.
Multiple level 3s at each plaza will allay my fear that a charger won't be available. I will be able to go to Lancaster or Allentown and back with one stop to charge. I can see using them as many as 4 or 5 times a year. I hope the investment proves to be worthwhile.
as of 6/19/15:
2012 SL; 63K miles, Lost First Bar at 42K Miles, second at 53K Miles, $0 Maintenance/Repairs, New Wiper Blades and Tires at 35K Miles, 94 Mile RT Daily Commute w/Level 1 Charge at Work.

OakLeaf
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:00 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Nov 2012
Location: Telford, PA

Re: PA Turnpike Commission installing chargers

Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:05 am

Hi gary - no problem, actually have been intending to pass that info on for a while now, but kept forgetting to.

I'll be on the lookout for you then - what color? I usually head south via 309 & Countyline Rd, and so far I haven't seen any other Leafs on my daily commute until I get down around Ivyland / Warminster area.

We would probably use these new chargers about every other month or so - my guess is it wouldn't be to take on a full charge, probably just enough to get home or to a destination where we would then spend some time fully recharging. We would probably use them more if there was a service plaza between the NE Extension and NJ as we travel that direction more than west towards the King of Prussia service plaza.

Agree that L2 isn't very practical in this case (although more practical than running out of charge!).

My biggest concern is that they (at least as of late February) hadn't yet decided on the type of L3 charger and would feel that they should wait to install the new SAE combo plug.
Last edited by OakLeaf on Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gatedad11
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:30 am
Delivery Date: 11 Sep 2012

Re: PA Turnpike Commission installing chargers

Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:35 pm

Regardless of the type, just the fact of installation of Level III's will spur more QC's to be sold as options, and that should lead to more QC stations popping up. To my (admittedly limited)knowledge, these are the first Level III's in PA, I think. Putting them on the Turnpike is the best place to do so to garner support for EV's in general. As I mentioned earlier, I don't even have a QC option on my Mitsubishi, which is leased and will be turned in when the lease is up. But I love EV driving and certainly hope to get another EV at that time. When I do, I can't imagine not having a QC port. That, along with the larger 6 KW charger, would make a difference in my driving habits. Right now I cannot take my "I" to the Phila airport. It's 44 miles from my home to the airport, and even if they had Level II charging there I'd have to wait at least 2-3 hours(and more liekly close to 4 hours) to get enough range to comfortably get back home, considering I-95 or the Blue Route as my highways of choice. With an increased on board charger I'd get 15-20 miles in possibly 1 hour and certainly in 90 minutes. A Level III charger there would make it entirely doable, as I have never gotten out of there to pick someone up in less than 30 minutes(there goes my 80% charge). This is actually pretty exciting, to know that things are moving in the right direction. Since I am leasing and am watching my overall mileage, I shouldn't be too worked up about adding to my driving range, but in the future I will buy and then it makes a big difference.

Lou

OakLeaf
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:00 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Nov 2012
Location: Telford, PA

Re: PA Turnpike Commission installing chargers

Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:10 pm

Good points Lou - it is certainly a "chicken or the egg" sort of dilemma - greater EV utilization results from more QC's being available, but the justification for greater numbers of QC's being installed isn't present until there is a greater number of EV's being driven.

However, being just a little bit "selfish", my desire of course is for the L3 QC's to be CHAdeMO compatible so we can use them with our Leaf.

A location such as the PA Turnpike is a great first step as it's the spot most likely to see the greatest possible concentration of EV's in need of a rapid charge at the moment.

I'm actually somewhat surprised not to see a similar infrastructure going up along the NJ Turnpike / GS Parkway / Rt. 1, especially in the heavily populated areas.

garymelora
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:37 am
Delivery Date: 01 Apr 2012
Leaf Number: 018767
Location: King of Prussia, PA

Re: PA Turnpike Commission installing chargers

Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:53 pm

Oakleaf - I work at Fresco and my Leaf is red. I get off the NEX at Lansdale and take back roads up to Telford, so I guess that we don't see each other. I pass a black Leaf on Wambold fairly regularly in the morning, I thought that might have been you.

There is another issue with long trips on the turnpike. Even if you can go 60 or more miles on a charge, the plazas aren't that far apart. There is not enough range to skip a plaza and go to the next one, so you would have to stop and charge even more often than your range would otherwise permit. I think trips on the turnpike are still limited to single charge range. In my situation, I would get better use from QCs on roads like 309 or 202.
as of 6/19/15:
2012 SL; 63K miles, Lost First Bar at 42K Miles, second at 53K Miles, $0 Maintenance/Repairs, New Wiper Blades and Tires at 35K Miles, 94 Mile RT Daily Commute w/Level 1 Charge at Work.

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