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Allentown Supercharger

Allentown Supercharger

I came across a posting on some Tesla-related site (I can't find it now) stating that the Tesla supercharger in Allentown (actually, Whitehall, Pa) is scheduled to be "approved" by the local municipality on August 11. Anybody have any additional information on this? A supercharger in the Allentown area would be huge for a lot of people, I think.

Thanks

SamO | August 4, 2014

http://blogs.mcall.com/roadwarrior/2014/04/charging-station-for-tesla-el...

http://www.whitehalltownship.com/May2014_1.pdf

http://parkland.thelehighvalleypress.com/classifieds/legals/public-notic...

"The Tesla Application was recommended for approval by the Planning
Commission at their July 16th meeting. It will now move to the Board of Commissioners for formal approval at their August 11th meeting."

LEvans | August 4, 2014

All for installing a glorified power outlet on private property in a designated parking space... It requires a planning commission and a board of commissioners, apparently. These people need to find something more productive to do with their lives than stand in the way of progress. It's just unbelievable.

Allentown is a great location for a SC and I hope the paper-pusher-do-nothings will deliver their divine blessing soon so Tesla can install the SC power receptacle.

WillEric | August 4, 2014

SamO, thanks for your response. And Web_Surfr, I couldn't agree more. The process takes too long. Here's an interesting link on the process behind setting up a supercharger. http://insideevs.com/tech-crunch-what-it-takes-to-be-a-tesla-supercharge...

tes-s | August 4, 2014

It is not a big deal for Tesla and has not caused problems. I think it was in Edison where the board required additional screening be added to the proposal. Standard stuff, and they plan locations long in advance. Just a formality and localities give their citizens a voice.

Putting in a NEMA 14-50 outlet at your own house - even when you do it yourself - requires a permit in many jurisdictions. I can see why a supercharger in a commercial location would need a permit. Parking spaces are also heavily regulated by government - total amount, handicapped, etc.

Developers have been complaining about the process for years, and I'm sure many would agree the process should be streamlined. There are others that will say the process has protected neighbors or done other things for the general good. Many people have gone to jail messing with the process - there are often high stakes involved.

plusplusjames | August 4, 2014

+1 Tes-s

PhillyGal | August 4, 2014

Please say it's so!
Our trips from Philly to Wilkes-Barre are just about the only one my husband and I worry about being a pain, as the house we visit for the weekend ~8 times/year has street-only parking. (Extension cord across the sidewalk?)

WillEric | August 4, 2014

PhillyGal, Allentown would be perfect for you!!

WillEric | August 4, 2014

Also, PhillyGal, what about the Chargepoint chargers nearby Wilkes-Barre, using your J1772 adapter? Check out this location. Not sure if it helps. Found it on the chargepoint.com website

WYOMING VALLEY
STATION 01
237-239 Rutter Ave
Kingston, PA
1.30 miles to Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Level 2, J1772, 6.6 kW: Available
Level 2, J1772, 6.6 kW: Available

PhillyGal | August 4, 2014

WillEric, you've made my night by saying to use "my J1772".
I'm only a Wannabe owner as of yet, hoping to change that in the upcoming year.

But yes, we would probably try to visit a charger such as that one should we obtain the car sooner than an Allentown supercharger. Thanks for the tip!

WillEric | August 4, 2014

You're welcome PhillyGal. Keep in mind, of course, that the chargepoint stations are not nearly as fast as the supercharger, but if you charge for a few hours, you'll have enough to get back to Philly (assuming you have some remaining miles from your ride up to WB).

Anyway, if you order your car now, it will take a few months for delivery. By that time, the Allentown SC should be up and running.

bish | August 23, 2014

Is there any chance the the A-town Supercharger will be operational by Labor Day?

TESLA168 | August 23, 2014

i don't think construction has even started there. i thought NJ is slow.. PA is worse

WillEric | August 24, 2014

Here's a response I got from Tesla after the Whitehall Board of Commissioners approved the land development plan for the supercharger:

"Thank you for contacting Tesla Motors Technical Support. We are glad that the construction of a supercharger in Whitehall, PA was approved, but unfortunately at this time we are uncertain when the construction will begin. It is also unclear how many stalls will be at this newly approved supercharger as of now. Our website teslamotors.com is your best resource for up to date information about upcoming superchargers. If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to contact Technical Support 24/7 at ServiceHelpNA@TeslaMotors.com or by phone at 1-877-79-Tesla (83752)"

I was a little frustrated by this response, because teslamotors.com was obviously not the "best resource" for updated information, given that the site had no information at all about the planning and approval process. I sent a follow-up inquiry to supercharger@teslamotors.com a week or so ago, and have heard nothing.

Apparently, the supercharger will be located near the JC Penny store at the Lehigh Valley Mall. Don't live in that area. Would be curious if anyone near the mall has seen any signs of construction.

WillEric | September 18, 2014

Over at TMC, the latest post on the Allentown thread has a photo of what might be a trailer related to the SC installation. The poster believed that this trailer looked "[s]imilar in size to trailers that have typically popped up at other sites before the big stuff comes in."

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/30668-PA-Whitehall-%28-All...

That post was about a week ago. If anyone in that area has anything new to report, let us know.

bonaire | September 18, 2014

Put one in Williamsport PA and then you have something for criss-crossing PA.

CirrusDriver | September 18, 2014

"Put one in Williamsport PA and then you have something for criss-crossing PA."

Right! That would enable both E/W (I-80 & I-180) and N/S (Route 15) arteries. In one location you enable NYC to Cleveland/Chicago and DC/Baltimore to Upstate NY/Finger Lakes.

DavidA | November 6, 2014

Hi, Guys;

An intrepid young associate producer from the Lehigh Valley Media Group just sent me this article, which posted today:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/lehigh-county/index.ssf/2014/11/tesla_su...

The Tesla spokesman is telling her that the Allentown SC will be live by the end of this month!

Bighorn | November 6, 2014

These hometown papers are getting pretty similar PR packets from Tesla though the quoted spokesperson is different than the western one.

Mel. | November 6, 2014

DavidA and Bighorn,

Thanks for the info.

PhillyGal | November 7, 2014

THANK GOSH!!

Looks like we'll be just fine for our Christmas Visit with the in-laws.

Now I just need someone(s)' super detective skills to figure out the new red dot on Tesla's map just to the Northwest of the Lehigh dot.

howard | November 11, 2014

Great News on Allentown....Now I don't have to run 100 feet of cable from my range to my parking spot at my Pocono house !!! Anyone know why the Tesla "service stations" don't have a set of superchargers? Eg.....Devon, PA ??? That would also help with some of this PA travel....

EVSteve | November 15, 2014

Not meaning to rain on anyone's excitement but I live nearby and there's still zero activity at the proposed site. With all the work laid out in the plans I would be very surprised if the Whitehall supercharger goes online before the end of the year.

I was the person who posted regarding the trailer and unfortunately it left shortly afterwards. PP&L still needs to extend the high voltage line underground and have it encased in cement. No small task given the ground layout. There are trees in the way, sidewalk, and the line location is up on a short but steep hill. I'd say minimum 4 weeks from first dig to power up. As of a few days ago there's a communications contractor up the road doing work which may or may not be in PP&L's way causing further delays.

I'll try to post updates as soon as I see anything. My commute takes me nearby almost daily. In the meantime as always the HPWC mounted outside at my house is available to anyone who needs it. Wintertime is frozen hell on range.

http://api.plugshare.com/view/location/52378

PhillyGal | November 26, 2014

@EVSteve - or anyone else -
Any good news or progress on construction?

EVSteve | November 30, 2014

@PhillyGal as of this morning the property is still blank. I will keep checking and report back to this thread as soon as I see or hear any new developments.

PhillyGal | November 30, 2014

Thanks for the update but DANG!
When I saw the thread had a new post I was hoping for ground breaking.

PhillyGal | December 3, 2014

SugarHoneyIcedTea!!!!

I just got word from someone at Whitehall PA's Zoning Dept. and apparently this is no longer happening!
Tesla has withdrawn their proposal for the Lehigh Valley Mall due to significant and apparently insurmountable obstacles in getting the utilities to serve the site.
Tesla is apparently still looking for a site in Allentown but have yet to identify one.

This is complete crap! Stupid politicians with their stupid heads up their butts. The owner of this mall should have pulled whatever strings needed to be pulled to make this happen. A Super Charger would have meant mall traffic from some folks who otherwise may have never heard of your mall, let alone shopped there.

Oooh I'm so miffed. I can't say that we would not have ordered a Tesla if it wasn't for this location but it was definitely a huge reason we felt comfortable confirming when we did. I know, I know - first world problems. But a 120V outlet and extension cord across a sidewalk 8-10 weekends per year sounds like ZERO FUN SIR!

PV_Dave @US-PA | December 3, 2014

Wow, that's terrible news! Permit in April, took until December just to go back to square one and start all over again. Amazing, and not in a good way at all.

[cynical/snide anti-utility remarks removed before posting]

Rocky_H | December 3, 2014

Who was that one guy who frequently claimed that Tesla always has everything under their control with Supercharger installs and never runs into roadblocks like these from organizations outside their control? :)

Djinn1 | December 3, 2014

wow. blankin' wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I sure hope your contact at Whitehall is mistaken @Phillygirl. I took a leap buying my Tesla a year ago, with the "promise" of superchargers that would be accessible to my location in Pennsylvania - the Allentown one was / is crucial for me to get back and forth to philly airport. I don;t have dual chargers so HPWC doesn't help me - 20 miles of charge per hour means charging for several hours just to get home. makes no sense, so ICE it has had to be. I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for this to move forward - permits, meeting, more meetings, more meetings, more permits ... and now .... zilch??

I have YET to be able to use a single Supercharger!!

I am terribly upset at this apparent lack of organizational skills, and even more so at Tesla's lack of communication and clarity. Do I love my car? yes. But ..... Have I had more than my share of broken pieces and parts (mechanical and computer)? yes. Am I unhappy with the lack of ability to provide timely service at Devon (4+ weeks if its not an emergency)? yes.

Up until now, I have been very forgiving - new company, cool product, growing pains. But they cannot seem to deliver on Superchargers within reach of central PA, despite a map that has had several 2014 locations planned for almost 2 years (harrisburg, allentown, hazleton/wilkes-barre). And I was told at the time that I purchased my car a year ago that Allentown was coming very soon. So I feel duped.

doesn't take much more of this for a Tesla lover to be a Tesla ranter. Come on Tesla, at least give us some communication and status update. we are your best advertisers. why tick us off? we are not asking for much - just clarity, and direction.

To my California brothers and sisters, you have it pretty good.

Mel. | December 3, 2014

Djinn1,

I understand that you are upset. I also need tha Allentown supercharger.. However , you probably need to understand that Tesla has put in hundreds of superchargers around the world.
In Florida Tesla does not have a problem.. Look at the supercharger map. Tesla does have a problem in other states , Pennsylvania is a problem , as many other states where the politicians are bought by the automobile dealers association.
You should talk to your elected officials. Just saying.

Djinn1 | December 3, 2014

@Mel - all I have been asking for is some semblance of communication. I understand that "stuff" happens, but all of our information is gleamed from snippets at township meeting minutes, and leaked document pdfs, rather than our EV infrastructure company (Tesla), of whom I am a product owner, and a stock owner.

Everything is conjecture, innuendo, and telephone can with a string, because we have no reliable information. Including some folks at Tesla sales that said it was coming a year ago.

I am not ignorant to the challenges of politics. But I am exquisitely sensitive to customer service excellence - something others have ranted about (in a positive way), but I have yet to experience, at least consistently.

I plan to reach out to California Customer service to see if I can gleam any details from the "supercharger team", although I am dubious this will be of any help.

Sorry to let off steam, but I have been waiting for this for literally a year, and to hear the deal's off .....

J.T. | December 3, 2014

Djinn1 I share your frustration about Allentown. However, and this is just a small bit of solace, but HPWC would give 30 miles per hour of charge. It's not Supercharging but it's way better than Level 2.

Plugged In | December 3, 2014

Well For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge!! I don't believe this!

There are always those who pull the strings and say NIMBY but there are also those who know how to get things done! Note to Tesla: THIS MATTERS! One does not go from New York City to Chicago via Delaware and Maryland but with MS we must.

HLR | December 3, 2014

Come on people, PhillyGal said:

"Tesla has withdrawn their proposal for the Lehigh Valley Mall due to significant and apparently insurmountable obstacles in getting the utilities to serve the site."

That's not political.. it sounds like the power utility/utilities involved are balking at whatever work is necessary to supply power to the proposed location. There are dozens of complicated issues in serving the high power needed to run a supercharger site. Perhaps TESLA wasn't interested in taking on the extra cost to run the power lines to the site, or that there are geographical limitations making it hard to run the lines underground from the closest source, and required too much excavation or tunneling to get it done? Or maybe the utility doesn't have enough capacity on the local grid to support the SC, and refuses to upgrade their own infrastructure unless TESLA pays for it? I'm just guessing here, but from the sound of it, it's not political or NIMBY, and there's very little the mall ownership could do to "make it happen".

Hopefully TESLA will find another workable site in the area.

PhillyGal | December 3, 2014

I also haven't been able to find a single iota of information about the red dot on Tesla's map that appears to be around Hazelton/Wilkes-Barre. That one would be vastly helpful to us as well.

This info was really a bummer - on the Eve of delivery.

The person I spoke to said the township's contact at Tesla was a Ms. Carmen Kleckner. I plan on asking when we take delivery tomorrow for a contact with the Supercharger team to see if we can get any bit of news about PA. I may not succeed but it would be nice.

And yes, the SC team is busy and seem to be wildly successful lately. But that's no excuse for leaving us in the dark for so long about the red dots. Certainly it doesn't take much to update the website.

Half Dollar Bill | December 3, 2014

@PhillyGal

When we were in WB for the holiday I took a trip to Hazleton to check for construction at a couple of likely sites. Unfortunately no activity. I could have just been sniffing in the wrong places though.

Cheer up; Allentown is a big place. I'm sure there's a viable alternate location to be found.

bonaire | December 3, 2014

Trexlertown or somewhere along Hamilton Blvd is possible as a next choice. I lived in Whitehall back about 1988. I don't miss the area much. Maybe the folks at Rodale or even Air Products could get involves. AP does have a moderate future in the arena of Hydrogen production, however.

bonaire | December 3, 2014

Off the exit of I-78 and Rt. 100 is perfect. Restaurants, hotels, etc.

TSLAholic | December 3, 2014

Exit 49A off I-78 - Rt. 100 would be perfect! Hilton, Wawa, and what's the name of that diner that always has a parking lot full of patrons across the street from the Sunoco?

EVSteve | December 4, 2014

I would still lean towards an installation on route 412 near the Samds Casino. It's the only real 24 hour site with existing entertainment and dining options.

Wawa is great but finding enough open space to place everything would be a hassle as is the parking lot route 100 turns into every day. On top of that the power was already upgraded in that area to support the casino. They would have no problems with PP&L at the casino and could even have them in the parking deck eliminating any snow issues. Yes the route 100 site is closer to a lot of central highway points but there's nothing but warehouses there.

Imo I see more drivers coming across 78 from jersey anyway as a SC in Hazelton would easily bridge the Lehigh Valley to philly gap. Philadelphia is only about 50 miles from Allentown.

PhillyGal | December 4, 2014

@Half Dollar Bill - They did say Allentown is still being looked at for an alternative, so here's hoping.

Anthony J. Parisio | December 4, 2014

Good luck to Tesla. We need a Supercharger in this area.

Plugged In | December 4, 2014

There are a whole host of possibilities. Just a few that come to mind:

1) In the collection of commerce around Hamburg (I 78 Exit 29) with a Cabela's and Wal-Mart, lies an opportunity

2) Somewhere in the vicinity of LVI Airport off US 22 might work.

3) Allentown and Bethlehem each could benefit by having people come into town and spend some time there. What better way to succeed than to open a supercharger?

4) If it can't be worked out on 78, then what about 81 or 80 such as Columbia Mall?

plusplusjames | December 4, 2014

You can contact the supercharger team at supercharger@teslamotors.com, the man in charge is Mr. Cal Lankton.

You can certainly suggest locations to them, but remember, they need to work with the property owners. If you are an owner of a suitable site, or can suggest some, that should really speed up the process.

Mel. | December 4, 2014

++james,
Thanks for the info.. I will e mail Cal and tell him that area is important to many of us .

WillEric | December 4, 2014

Another bad sign. the supercharge.info map no longer has the blue dot indicating permitted status for Allentown.

Blueshift | December 4, 2014

I removed the site from supercharge.info because of this thread. Hopefully the site, or one nearby, goes forward and I can add another PA location back to the map soon.

plusplusjames | December 4, 2014

Am I the only one who feels that the Northeast is on the low end of the priority in terms of SC roll-outs?

Rocky_H | December 4, 2014

@plusplusjames, I guess "on the low end" is relative. I don't think my opinion would agree with yours, though. There are currently 4 under construction there and another permit.

Connecting Texas to ANYWHERE I thought would have happened sooner. I-70 should have been a really high priority. I-84 on the West side of the country: Portland/Boise/Salt Lake City got bumped from the 2014 to the 2015 map. North-South routes down from St. Louis, Chicago, or Detroit seem like kind of a big deal, but are all still at some point in the future.

So I guess a lot of places are "on the low end of the priority".

Mel. | December 4, 2014

Wyoming has the same amount of superchargers as Pennsylvania. Compare population and traffic. The take a look at Tesla Owners in these states.

It looks like states west of the Mississippi are less beaurcratic, or maybe more accommodative to Tesla.
Am I wrong?

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