Harrisburg, PA – Expanding routes for those who drive clean-fuel vehicles in Pennsylvania, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Transportation (PennDOT) last week announced grants for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and the designation of 500 more miles of highway as “Alternative Fuel Corridors,” with compressed natural gas (CNG) or EV charging stations readily accessible.
“Pennsylvanians are increasingly interested in protecting the environment and saving money by driving clean-fuel vehicles such as electric or compressed natural gas powered cars, buses, and trucks,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “DEP is committed to supporting these consumer choices and helping the state reach its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals through sustainable transportation initiatives.”
DEP announced the approval of two grants totaling $660,000 to Giant Eagle, Inc., to install eight EV fast-charging stations for public use at four GetGo convenience stores in Allegheny, Butler, and Washington Counties in western Pennsylvania. When completed, the chargers are expected to eliminate 242 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
The stations will continue increasing options for fast charging along Interstate 79, designated last year as an Alternative Fuel Corridor. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) permits states to designate highways as Alternative Fuel Corridors if they meet federal criteria for the availability of EV charging, CNG, propane, liquid natural gas, or hydrogen fuel stations.
PennDOT and DEP partnered to secure designations in April for about 560 more miles in eastern and central Pennsylvania. These highways have EV charging stations every 50 miles and CNG fueling stations every 150 miles. Stations are 5 miles or closer to the road.
“Pennsylvania is now a leading producer of natural gas, and the Alternative Fuel Corridor initiative aims to take advantage of this new, cleaner burning fuel source,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “PennDOT is excited to support this program that will bring benefits for the state, transit agencies, and the public for years to come.”
The following highways are newly designated as corridors for EV charging:
- Interstate 83 from New Cumberland to the Maryland border
- US Route 30/Interstate 676 from Gettysburg to the New Jersey border
- Interstate 70 from the Ohio border to the intersection with the Turnpike (New Stanton exit)
The following highways are newly designated as corridors for CNG:
- Interstate 81 from Carlisle to the New York border
- Interstate 78 from intersection with I-81 to Allentown
- US Route 30/Interstate 676 from York to the New Jersey border
- Interstate 70 from the Ohio border to the intersection with the Turnpike (New Stanton exit) and from the Turnpike Breezewood exit to the Maryland border
These latest routes, combined with those designated in 2016 and 2017, give Pennsylvania a total of 14 Alternative Fuel Corridors, covering 1,763 miles. See FHWA interactive maps showing routes for each type of fuel.
Corridor designation allows roads to have additional signage indicating that specific types of alternative fuel stations are available. PennDOT is developing a signage package. The agencies will pursue opportunities for further corridor designations as alternative fuel stations increase.
Businesses and organizations are encouraged to learn more about DEP grant programs that support installation of EV charging, CNG, or other alternative fuel stations for fleet or public use. Find information at Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants and Driving PA Forward.