By 1812Blockhouse; Special to 1812Blockhouse

Governor Mike DeWine has announced the future locations of 27 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations that will be installed along Ohio interstates, making Ohio the first state in the nation to announce charging station sites that will be developed as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program.  

“This is an exciting time for Ohio as we continue to lead the charge in electric mobility,” said Governor DeWine. “As more Ohioans purchase EVs, this statewide network of chargers will ensure that our transportation infrastructure is prepared to accommodate these drivers, as well as visitors who travel to Ohio to see all that our great state has to offer.” 

During a news conference today with Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Jack Marchbanks, DriveOhio Executive Director Preeti Choudhary, and Federal Highway Administration Deputy Administrator Andrew Rogers, Governor DeWine announced that the state will award more than $18 million in NEVI funds for 27 electric vehicle fast charging stations along seven of Ohio’s interstate corridors, including I-70, I-71, I-74, I-75, I-76, I-77, and I-90. 

The nearest stations to Richland County will be on I71 at:

  • The Pilot Travel Center at the I71/SR61 interchange in southern Morrow County
  • The Pilot Travel Center at the I71/SR83 interchange near Lodi

The $18 million in NEVI funding will be matched with nearly $6 million from the private entities selected to install and operate the new EV fast charging stations, including Pilot Travel Centers, TH Midwest, Francis Energy, Meijer Stores, EVgo Services, ChargeNet Stations, and Equilon/Shell.  

Winning proposals include site plans at existing travel centers, grocery stores, retail shops, a hotel, a restaurant, and a bank. The new charging stations will be located every 50 miles and will be situated no more than 1 mile off the interstate. Each site will include at least four charger ports with 150 kilowatts for each port and will be accessible 24/7 with easy access to food, drink, and restrooms. 

“As the mix of automobiles on the road changes, we must adapt our infrastructure, and EV charging stations are a part of improving customer service for Ohio drivers and businesses,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “The automobile industry is a proud part of our history, and with new investments in battery plants and EVs, the auto industry can be a source of jobs and prosperity for our future.”

Ohio was the first state in the nation to release a request for charging station proposals last year, which was a strategic move to put Ohio ahead of other states for sought-after equipment and specialized technicians to install the stations. This fall, ODOT will issue its second request for proposals to install an additional 16 charging stations along Ohio’s major U.S. and state routes.  

“Our strategy throughout this process has been intentional. Each location was bid as a separate project to give Ohio a competitive advantage, stretching every dollar available to us,” said Marchbanks. “We’re just getting started. We anticipate significant funding left over after the first two rounds that can be used to further cement Ohio’s place in this transportation revolution.”  

DriveOhio, a division of ODOT, will oversee the implementation of the new charging stations, which are expected to be in operation next year. The new fast charging stations will join 13 preexisting federally compliant charging stations in Ohio.  

VIDEO: Preexisting EV Charging Station on Hilliard-Rome Road (Columbus)

“One of the major concerns for consumers considering purchasing an electric vehicle has been ‘Can I find a place to charge it?’ This is a major step in removing that barrier and making sure that in Ohio, the answer is yes,” said Choudhary.  

There are currently about 53,000 registered electric vehicles in Ohio, with that number expected to significantly increase in coming years. In total, Ohio will receive $140 million in NEVI funds over the next five years to support the installation of EV charging stations across the state. Once charging stations are installed on Ohio’s interstates, state routes, and U.S. routes, the remaining funding will be used to install charging stations in other areas. 

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