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Company installs free power stations for electric vehicles

Company installs free power stations for electric vehicles

A Lancaster County company is helping drivers in Pennsylvania who want to replace filling up with plugging in.

Amerigreen Energy Inc. has installed eight charging stations for electric vehicles at locations in Central and eastern Pennsylvania. Four are in Lancaster County; one is in Susquehanna Township in Dauphin County; and Berks, Delaware and Montgomery counties have one each.

The stations are 240-volt “Level 2” outlets, a widely used outlet for electric vehicles. Four stations have two charging units; three have one and one has four, Amerigreen spokesman Steve McCracken said.

Using a Level 2 charger, an all-electric or hybrid vehicle can recharge in two to four hours, he said. The company envisions many customers plugging in for 20 minutes or so to “top off” a charge. All eight are available to the public for free.

“We’re getting pretty good use out of them,” he said.

High Hotels Ltd., part of The High Cos. group, is hosting two of the stations, one each at the Courtyard by Marriott and Hampton Inn hotels, both in High’s Greenfield Corporate Center, just off Route 30 east of Lancaster in East Lampeter Township. They debuted this fall.

“We’re very focused on green initiatives across all our companies,” said Mike Fruin, High Hotels president and chief operating officer.

Another station is at Amerigreen’s headquarters, also in the Greenfield Corporate Center.

Amerigreen spent about $200,000 to install the eight stations, with the majority of the expense coming from running new underground electric lines, McCracken said. The money came from a state Department of Environmental Protection alternative fuels incentive grant.

Amerigreen originally was going to deploy a single “Level 3” station, which would have offered a higher voltage and more rapid recharging. However, the cost was prohibitive, McCracken said. The DEP worked with Amerigreen as the plan shifted to the Level 2 stations, he said.

At home, owners can plug their electric vehicles into a standard three-prong, 120-volt outlet. This is known as “Level 1” charging, which takes about eight hours to bring depleted batteries to full capacity.

Tim Stuhldreher

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