Township Looks Ahead to Electric Vehicle Future

Township Looks Ahead to Electric Vehicle Future

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – A growing interest in environmentally conscious energy alternatives, and the coming roll-outs of redesigned or wholly new electric vehicles, has Bruce Foltz, president of the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners, thinking about the future.

Specifically, Foltz has asked his board colleagues if they would consider a possible ordinance that could regulate the requirements, placement, and use of electric vehicle charging stations in the township (at top and right).

It’s better if the board gets an early handle on the issue rather than react to it, Foltz, a retired electrician, reasoned. The remaining four commissioners agreed, and township Solicitor Charles Garner said he would begin some research on the subject.

Consumer auto and truck manufacturers, from both well-known brand names and relatively unknown independents, plan to introduce dozens of new electric vehicle models (also known as EVs) within the next five years. Car and Driver Magazine’s Sept. 7 (2021) edition offers descriptions and photos of 59 of them. Fifteen are still targeted to debut in 2021; 24 more in 2022.

To both promote and accommodate EVs, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection “Driving PA Forward” program offers rebates for the purchase, installation, maintenance, and operation of EV charging equipment. The grants, primarily for commercial facilities willing to offer fast charging stations to customers and others at so-called community hub locations, have a value of about $3,500 to $4,500 per charger.

The department reports charging station rebate vouchers have been issued so far for two such projects in Montgomery County, in Horsham and Whitemarsh. The program, however, also includes incentives for alternative or lower emission fuels that include diesel, propane, and hydrogen. They’ve resulted in a greater number of grant awards, particularly for replacement of commercial trucks and school buses.

Lower Pottsgrove drivers don’t need to travel far to find local EV charging stations outside the township. Possibly the closest are those at the Philadelphia Premium Outlets. Chargers were installed at its south-side parking lot during April.

The discussion of EV chargers arose during commissioners’ comments at the end of their Oct. 4 (Monday) meeting.

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