A new Electric Vehicle Charging Study compiled by DriveOhio – a division of the Ohio Department of Transportation – outlines a new statewide strategy to help expand EV use within Ohio, such as by building EV charging stations at least every 50 miles at specific locations along interstate, state, and U.S. route corridors.
(Photo Credit: DriveOhio)
The study also calls for collaboration among various state agencies with the Ohio DOT to implement this new EV strategy, including: The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency; the Ohio Department of Natural Resources; the Development Services Agency; the Ohio Department of Public Safety; the Department of Administrative Services; the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio; and the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission.
Jack Marchbanks, Ohio DOT’s director, noted in a statement that over the past 18 months numerous manufacturers – including Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Nissan – have committed to each bringing 10 or more EV models to market in the 2020s. And as new EV models come to market and current connected and automated vehicle or CAV technology matures, he said EVs should begin to act as an “enabler” of autonomous vehicles moving forward.
“There is a paradigm shift underway in the transportation industry. Legacy companies are pivoting to new ways of doing business and startups are entering the market,” Marchbanks explained. “By working towards EV-friendly corridors, Ohio will continue leading the way in the changing landscape of transportation.”
The US Department of Energy and multiple independent market reports conclude that the automotive industry is committed to EVs.
In coordination with DriveOhio’s study, the Ohio EPA will open the application process for $3.5 million in grant funds to install publicly accessible ‘Level 2’ chargers in counties that Ohio EPA has identified as eligible to receive funds from the grant program.
The Level 2 announcement is the first of two EV-related grant programs, the agency said, with the second comprised of $5 million in grants aimed at funding the construction of “Direct Current Fast” or DC Fast chargers by early 2021 – technology DriveOhio’s study places along major transportation corridors to help fill gaps and thereby ease “range anxiety” among EV users.
“This initiative is a great example of state government working together and combining resources to get the very best result for Ohioans,” Ohio DOT’s Marchbanks added.