Aug. 31--UPDATE: Tesla Motors' application in South Whitehall stalled until September
Tesla Motors is slated to make a pitch this evening for a charging station in the Tilghman Square Shopping Center in South Whitehall.
The township's Zoning Hearing Board will hear from electric car company during the 7:30 p.m. meeting, according to the board's agenda. The proposed charging station would be located at 4650 Broadway in a property owned by the Tilghman Square Associates LP.
Supercharging stations can revive a battery within 20 minutes, but regular stations, like one in Bethlehem, are able to provide only about 58 miles of driving power for each hour of charging time. It's not clear whether the South Whitehall location would host a supercharger.
The proposal comes months after Tesla Motors gave up on a Whitehall supercharging station planned for the Lehigh Valley Mall because of construction and design challenges that cropped up during the approval process, particularly with property owner JCPenney. Tesla representatives at the time said there was potential to find another site for a supercharger elsewhere in the Lehigh Valley -- an area eyed because of its central location between Harrisburg and New York City.
The sleek electronic cars, with price tags that start above $60,000, can go hundreds of miles before needing a charge, but finding a public place to do that in the Lehigh Valley is nearly impossible. The first station in either Northampton or Lehigh counties to open did so this May at the Sayre Mansion in Bethlehem, but the charger at that property brings batteries back to life much slower than a supercharging station like the one originally proposed in Whitehall.
The historic, luxury property announced the addition of two electronic car charging stations on the property that could be used by non-guests for a $12 fee. One of the charges would be used exclusively for Tesla vehicles and another universal model would be able to provide some juice for other electronic vehicles such as the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf.
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