The debate between residents of Eastern and Western Pennsylvania: Sheetz or WaWa? But for a travelling family from New Jersey, the choice is definitely the Donora Public Library.
On a very hot summer afternoon an obviously distraught young couple with two children wandered into the air-conditioned relief of the small-town library. The family was traveling to Detroit to attend a conference on physically challenged children. The couple’s young son suffered a severe disability and the even younger daughter was full of road weariness. They had rented a new Tesla for what they thought was to be a well-planned family road trip.
As they crossed into Southwestern Pennsylvania, and were nearing the point where their Tesla battery would soon die, they began to worry. The Sheetz station on their itinerary was demolished for reconstruction. The charging stations were closed. They not only feared being stuck hundreds of miles from their New Jersey home, but they also would miss the conference in Michigan.
The couple checked their smartphone app in hopes of finding another nearby charging station to refuel their electric vehicle. They expected their chances were not good as the route they had chosen took them into rural territory. But the little green dot blinking on the app showed the nearest EV recharging station was only six miles away.
Relief hit the couple as they pulled into the library parking lot. The library had just recently installed a level-two EV charging station. Once the family had cooled off and asked a number of questions they plugged into the ChargePoint charging station, and during the next four hours spread a picnic lunch in the library’s back yard. The two children were entertained by library staff and the parents searched their app for the next plug in destination.
They calculated they would still reach their Detroit in time for the conference opening as they repacked their electric car. And as he detached the Tesla from its charging port dad pronounced “Who would think the library would save our lives?”
The library board of directors has stated its commitment to environmental stability and installed the EV station as another service to library patrons. The station is connected to the ChargePoint EV network. The cost of the station was discounted by 80% through the Driving PA Forward program. Customers pay a small charge to the library for power usage. The station is open 24 hours a day.
Mark G. Bizzell Boyer, Director
Donora Public Library