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Ohio will soon have more electric vehicle charging units along major roadways

 An electric vehicle charges in a parking lot in downtown Columbus.
Daniel Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau
An electric vehicle charges in a parking lot in downtown Columbus.

Ohioans who drive electric vehicles will soon find more charging units available along the state’s major roadways.

Ohio will receive more than $100 million over the next five years to install electric vehicle charging units along roadways throughout the state.

Luke Stedke, DriveOhio's managing director of communications and policy, said the first units to be established will serve areas that don’t have many EV charging options.

“Our plan will start with filling 30 gaps on what we call alternative fuel corridors across the state of Ohio,” Stedke said.

Stedke said Ohio will first build out those corridors then use about $70 million to upgrade existing EV charging sites. These 150 KW DC fast chargers will be faster than ordinary electrical plugs.

"For every 15 minutes a motorist would charge, they'd be getting 60 to 80 miles of run time, depending on what the vehicle is," Stedke explained.

Stedke said the areas that are getting the new fast chargers were nominated by municipal planning organizations that identified those needs.

 Registered vehicles in Ohio using alternative fuel
DriveOhio
/
DriveOhio
Registered vehicles in Ohio using alternative fuel

The goal will be to install Direct Current (DC) fast charging units at locations every 50 miles along the interstates throughout Ohio. By doing so, rural areas throughout Ohio will be able to access charging sites.

The new charging units are required to be accessible 24 hours a day. Sheetz, Walmart and 7-Eleven stores will serve as host sites for the new charging units. Each site will have four DC fast chargers that allow four different vehicles to charge their batteries at the same time. The stations will be required to post the cost for electricity so consumers know up front how much each fill-up will cost.

DriveOhio reports there are 38,835 alternative fuel vehicles registered in Ohio but Stedke noted some of the state's major car manufacturers are starting to move toward more electric powered vehicles. And he said the market is continuing to grow more each year.

"We see a lot of market-based decision making when it comes to this," Stedke said.

Currently, there are no state funds available for EV charging. And the state levies a charge on EV owners each year to offset revenue from the gasoline taxes that are lost.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.