Ohio Breaks Ground on Federally Funded EV Charging Station

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The state has broken ground on an electric vehicle charging station at the Pilot Travel Center along Interstate 70 at U.S. Route 42, Gov. Mike DeWine and Jack Marchbanks, Ohio Department of Transportation director, announced Wednesday.

Ohio is the first state to break ground on an EV charging station built as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program.

“Ohio continues to lead in this rising sector,” DeWine said. “From securing investments by manufacturers to building key infrastructure, we are truly positioning Ohioans for the electric future. This groundbreaking further demonstrates the state’s commitment to installing chargers as quickly as possible for the benefit of Ohio drivers.”

When work is finished, the charging station will be equipped with fast chargers installed by EVgo, capable of providing up to 350 kilowatts when charging a single vehicle, a news release states. When four vehicles are charging simultaneously, each port will receive up to 175 kilowatts, which is enough power to charge an EV up to 80% in 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the vehicle’s battery.

“As more Ohioans adopt electric vehicles and the mix of automobiles on the road changes, we must ensure that our infrastructure is ready,” Marchbanks said. “Providing more fast chargers that are convenient and reliable ultimately improves customer service for Ohio drivers and bolsters equitable access to the latest transportation technology.”

While their vehicles are charging, customers will have 24/7 access to restrooms, Wi-Fi, food, beverages and other convenience items for purchase.

“When we talked with electric vehicle drivers throughout our public engagement process, we heard that user experience is key,” said Preeti Choudhary, DriveOhio executive director. “It’s not enough to just add chargers at the required increments. Recognizing that drivers will spend a bit of time at these locations, we need to ensure users feel safe and comfortable while charging their vehicles.”

Construction is expected to begin soon on more than two dozen fast charging stations across the state, all funded by the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program. All chargers installed as part of the first round are anticipated to be operational by the end of 2024. 

None of the charging stations are slated for the Mahoning Valley in the first round.

The state’s second round of charging infrastructure will include 25 additional locations along interstates and U.S. and state routes. In the coming months, ODOT will solicit proposals from companies to build the next round of stations. Ohio will receive $140 million in NEVI funds over the next five years to support the installation of EV charging stations across the state. 

Pictured at top: The Pilot Travel Center along Interstate 70 at U.S. Route 42. (ODOT)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.