CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is charging into the future with the addition of at least 500 new electric vehicle plugs statewide.

The ‘shocking’ news is a positive sign for car buyers who were already on the edge of making the leap to all-electric.

“Making charging stations available at public locations is key to overcoming perceived battery anxiety on the way to environmentally sustainable transportation,” said Matthew J. Austin, president and CEO of Austin-Corps, located in Tunkhannock, Wyoming County.

The announcement came on Friday when the department celebrated its successful implementation of 1,000 Level 2 electric vehicle chargers throughout the state which relied on funds from the Driving PA Forward program.

“Each one of these chargers adds another option for Pennsylvania’s electric vehicle drivers, and more electric vehicles on the road means less tailpipe pollution and healthier air quality in our communities,” said Patrick McDonnell, DEP Secretary. “It also helps Pennsylvania address the pressing challenge of climate change.

In February, the DEP added an additional 16 fast chargers to help long-distance drivers along Pennsylvania’s network of electric vehicle corridors.

The corridors will eventually have chargers located every 50 miles along the highway and no more than 5 miles from the road, with accompanying roadside signage.

“Electric vehicles are the biggest thing to happen to transportation since the Model T,” said Matthew J. Austin, president and CEO of Austin-Corps, located in Tunkhannock, Wyoming County. “We’re honored to be on the leading edge of bringing this revolutionary technological change to rural areas.”

The department says an additional 140 funded charging station projects are in process which will add at least 500 more plugs, bring the number of counties with at least one charger funded by Driving PA Forward to 45.

According to recent data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), more than 28,000 electric vehicles (battery and plug-in hybrid) were registered in Pennsylvania as of February — nearly two-and-a-half times higher than three years ago.

Electric vehicles have slowly been garnered attention over the past few years with Ford, announcing the latest electric truck platform aiming to compete with Tesla’s Cybertruck announced in November of 2019.