EV Charging Station at Columbiana Port Authority Getting Plenty of Use

LISBON, Ohio – The electric vehicle charging station installed in October outside the Columbiana County Port Authority offices here is “extremely successful,” officials say.

Robert Ritchey, private sector group specialist for the port authority, told the CCPA board of directors Monday that since the charging station was installed Oct. 23, the average charging time is about 22 minutes, just enough “to get where they’re going.”

Although charging stations are becoming more prevalent, Columbiana County is still in an area with sparse locations. The charging station at the port authority’s office at Lincole Place is one of the few near state Route 11 and the only public station along state Route 30 between the airports in Pittsburgh and Canton.

“Travelers between the big markets who drive EVs and use a plethora of apps can see that the port’s station is one of the few” in the area, Ritchey said.

Between January and February, a considerable amount of consistent usage was noted.

ChargePoint, the provider of the station, has a 73% market share of Level 2 charging stations like the one installed at Lincole Place. Such stations can provide enough charge for a 90-mile drive in about three hours.

With burgeoning investments in electric vehicles, especially locally at Lordstown Motors Corp., where the Endurance pickup truck production will launch in September, and the $2.8 billion Ultium Cells battery plant, Ritchey said the port authority is promoting job growth opportunities.

“The port authority saw early on where the market was going with electric vehicles and wanted to be a part of this rapid positive change,” he said.

Also promoting job growth along the Ohio River is the new interactive map on the agency’s website, the board was told.

Executive Director Penny Traina said the map was a work in progress as the port authority worked to create an index of businesses that rely on the Ohio River and then connect that information to GIS data.

“It will allow anyone looking for economic development to see the name of companies, the products they move and their locations,” she said. “It’s a great economic development tool for anyone wanting to use the Ohio River.”

Traina also said that a $150,000 Ohio Industry Sector Partnership Grant was not awarded. The port authority had partnered with the Columbiana County Business Advisory Council, the Education Service Center and SOD Center on the application for a grant to fund professional development, a stable career path for students and to help educate parents on manufacturing careers. 

The grant was not being funded in June 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Port authority grant coordinator Brittany Smith said she believes the funding agency may have been overwhelmed by the number of applications received, with grant requests tripling the amount of funding available.

Traina said the Columbiana County Port Authority will reapply for the grant.

Pictured: The electric vehicle charging station outside the Columbiana County Port Authority’s office in Lisbon.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.