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Ohio becomes first state to announce EV charging stations set up with federal infrastructure funds

 A large TV screen with a blue and white picture shows a map of Ohio and is standing in front of a white electric vehicle inside of a large Ohio Department of Transportation garage with concrete floors and white metal walls.
Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
A map of the 27 electric vehicle charging stations at the ODOT facility in Hilliard, where the locations of those federally funded charging stations was announced.

Ohio will use $18 million in federal funding to pay for electric vehicle charging stations — making it the first state to announce plans to use money from the bipartisan infrastructure law passed in 2021 to do so.

It’s part of a multi-phase project to finance EV charging stations throughout the state.

A total of 27 EV charging stations will be set up every 50 miles. They’ll be no further than a mile off one of Ohio’s major interstates — I-70, I-71, I-75, I-76, I-77 and I-90.

Sites include gas stations with travel centers, convenience stores, retailers, a hotel, a grocery store, a restaurant and a bank. The federal dollars will be matched with $6 million from those businesses to install the charging stations.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the state got about 300 bids from businesses for the charging stations, which aren’t allowed under federal law to be located at rest areas.

"Federal law prohibits us from privatizing in any degree really our rest areas, other than vending machines. So we are totally restricted in what what we can do in that area," DeWine said. "Maybe Congress can look at that. But under current law, that's what we can do. But these are convenient. These are close. These are in places that people know and places that people will, I think, feel comfortable."

The Ohio Turnpike falls under different rules since it's operated by the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission. DeWine said the turnpike has "a lot more flexibility. One of the things that you see in the turnpike is a lot more choices. You have restaurants, and you have many, many things."

No charging sites are planned in southern Ohio from Cincinnati to Marietta. But DeWine noted the next phase will focus on state routes. Ohio will get a total of $140 million for charging stations over five years, and another 16 to 20 EV charging stations will be announced in the second round.

The chargers that will be installed are considered at the fast end of the charging spectrum, and will charge vehicles to 80% fairly quickly. But not for free.

“The industry sets the price. We're not doing any, imposing any rate structures for this program. We've heard on average it can cost $15 to $20 to get 20% charge or perhaps more," said Preeti Choudhary, executive director of DriveOhio, the division of the Ohio Department of Transportation working on infrastructure for smart vehicles.

The new charging stations are expected to be in operation next year. There are already 13 similar charging stations in Ohio that meet federal guidelines, which include being located near certain highways.

The list of 27 EV charging stations can be found here.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at
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