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Electric-car charging station opens in Harrisburg

By - Last modified: November 21, 2012 at 3:02 PM

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The charging station cost $15,000 to buy and install.
The charging station cost $15,000 to buy and install.

Harrisburg's first electric-car charging station is now operating for public use on Second Street outside the recently opened Second and State office building.

Sponsored by Harrisburg-based Sutliff Chevrolet, the car-charging station was installed as part of sustainability efforts by WCI Partners LP, the Harrisburg-based real estate development company that built the five-story LEED Gold structure.

The unit, which sits at a designated electric-car-only space, cost $15,000 to buy and install, said Alex Hartzler, WCI's managing partner.

The cost to use the charger is based on electricity usage, which is priced at 15 cents per kilowatt-hour.

There is no additional charge to park, but there is a two-hour parking limit, said Hartzler, the owner of a Tesla Model S, which can travel about 250 miles on a full charge. He is one of the first owners of the special edition electric sedan made by California-based Tesla Motors.

The nongasoline-powered vehicle was just named Motor Trend magazine's 2013 Car of the Year. The Tesla turned a number of heads this morning in downtown Harrisburg when Hartzler pulled up to the station (read more about Hartzler's Tesla in Nov. 28's Construction and Real Estate blog).

"We'll try this and see how it goes," Hartzler said of the unit, which he hopes will attract other owners of electric vehicles.

The capital city station is believed to be the first in Pennsylvania located on the street in a public parking space, WCI President David Butcher said.

"It's additional exposure for us in the world of electric," Greg Sutliff, CEO of Sutliff Auto Group, said of the sponsorship.

Sutliff sells the hybrid Chevrolet Volt. The Harrisburg dealership sells about six to 10 Volts every month, he said.

"We have a unique vehicle in the forefront of (electric vehicles), so we applaud it and want to have our name associated with it," Sutliff said.

Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jasons@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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