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USA: King of Prussia Mall welcomes electric vehicles

King of Prussia Mall welcomes electric vehicles
Published: Saturday, October 08, 2011
By GARY PULEO
gpuleo@timesherald.com
UPPER MERION — So you’re cruising along Route 202 in your spiffy, new, electric-powered Fisker Karma and notice that the charging gauge is suddenly starting to nosedive. What to do?

Well, if you happen to be anywhere near King of Prussia you might choose to pull into the mall and “top off” the juice while doing some shopping.

The Plaza is now equipped with a pair of electric charging stations on the upper level parking deck near Nordstrom, with two more to be installed later this fall on the upper level deck of The Court, between Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.

The bad news is that plugging in is strictly self-serve, so there’ll be no rolling down the window and shouting “charge ‘er up.”

It’s all part of mall owner Simon Property Group’s desire to continue its commitment to going green while being on the forefront of the EV (electric vehicle) trend, noted mall manager Bob Hart.

“We’re not the first to do this; there are others that have put these in but I don’t think there are any other shopping centers in Pennsylvania with these,” he said. “We think we’re leading the field in this and eventually the demand will be there. It’s going to happen. We’re pleased to offer shoppers access to convenient charging stations while continuing our commitment to sustainability. We think of it as a customer service for our shoppers with electric cars, who can now visit King of Prussia mall and shop with ease, confident their cars will be recharged for the return home.”

The charging stations, at 208/240 volts, standard to all electric cars, were installed at no cost to the mall by The National Electrical Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 380.

“They all came to us earlier in the year and were very proactive,” Hart said. “It’s a really good partnership.” The chargers, which were partially funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, have the ability to “top off” or fully charge a customer’s vehicle in a 60- to 120-minute time frame.

“The first ones that came out were 110 volt, and it took forever to charge,” Hart said. “But these are much more powerful. And all these new cars are computerized, so the GPS will let them know that King of Prussia mall has these so they can know where to park.”

The mall is working with provider 350Green, who is offering the service free for an introductory period, with a variety of pricing options to come
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