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Tesla charging station coming to Wawa near Dorney Park

Tesla charging stations
Jay Bradley
A Tesla charging station in Tilghman Square.

SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. — Electric vehicle owners in the township soon will have another place to charge.

South Whitehall Board of Commissioners on Wednesday waived the land development review requirement for a Tesla charging station at the Wawa convenience store at 408 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., near Dorney Park.

That means the project will be approved by township staff instead of the board.

Plan for Tesla charging station.png
South Whitehall Township
The plan for the Tesla charging station.

Tesla employee Michael Testa presented the project plan to commissioners. The company is looking to add eight chargers to a 10-space parking block.

The station will see 700 to 800 cars per month, Testa said.

The plan would not take away any parking spaces, but it would make them all smaller and add a handicapped access aisle between two of the spaces.

Several commissioners raised questions about whether there would be lines for the spaces, since the cars typically charge for about 20 minutes.

“Pennsylvania is putting a lot of effort into helping us to build out the corridor. So we’re going full-steam ahead."
Tesla employee Michael Testa

Testa said he does not anticipate that will be a problem, especially because the company likely will continue to build more charging stations along Interstate 78.

“Pennsylvania is putting a lot of effort into helping us to build out the corridor," Testa said. "So we’re going full-steam ahead.”

South Whitehall currently has a Tesla charging station in Tilghman Square, which also is along Cedar Crest Boulevard.

Can other EVs use the chargers?

Testa said currently, the vast majority of people who use Tesla charging stations are Tesla owners.

But he said that’s about to change because of recent deals between the company and other electric vehicle, or EV, manufacturers.

There are two designs for EV chargers: the North American Charging Standard, or NACS, which was designed by Tesla, and the Combined Charging System, which now is used by every other EV manufacturer in the country.

Last year, EV manufacturers began announcing deals with Tesla to start making cars using the NACS port. By the end of the year, almost all of the EV companies had a plan to convert to NACS, most by 2025.

Those who currently own a non-Tesla EV likely still will have to buy a converter to use Tesla charging stations. The price of an adapter can range from $70 to $250.