Ohio Officials Celebrate First NEVI-funded EV Charging Station

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Electric vehicle drivers now have another place to charge up in Central Ohio. 

Gov. Mike DeWine and Jack Marchbanks, Ohio Department of Transportation director, were among the officials who celebrated the opening of the nation’s first EV fast charging station built as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program.

A ribbon-cutting was held Wednesday.

Located at the London Pilot Travel Center along Interstate 70 at U.S. Route 42 in Madison County, west of Columbus, the charging station is part of a collaboration with General Motors. It is equipped with fast chargers installed by EVgo and owned by Pilot Travel Centers LLC. Each charging stall is capable of providing up to 350 kW when charging a single vehicle. When multiple vehicles are charging at the same time, each port will receive up to 175 kW. This amount of power is enough to charge most EVs up to 80% in 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the vehicle’s battery.

“Ohio continues to be at the forefront of transportation innovation by deploying new technologies to help people safely get where they need to go,” DeWine said. “As the mix of vehicles on the road changes, EV charging stations are part of improving customer service for drivers and businesses who choose to go electric.”  

NEVI-funded charging stations must include access to restrooms and a place to buy food and beverages. At the Pilot location, customers can also access Wi-Fi and are sheltered from the weather by a large overhead canopy.

“Our travel centers are uniquely able to provide EV drivers with the comforts and conveniences that people are familiar with on the road,” said Tim Langenkamp, vice president of business development – sustainability for Pilot Travel Centers LLC. “With our Pilot and Flying J travel centers located along all major American highways and interstates, EV drivers will be able to travel with confidence thanks to these investments in charging infrastructure and public/private partnerships like Ohio’s NEVI program. We are thrilled to be the nation’s first NEVI-funded charging station.”

The charging station is “a major step toward America’s electric future,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

“By investing in electric infrastructure, we are creating good-paying jobs, reducing carbon pollution and securing America’s position as the global leader in automotive innovation.”

ODOT and Pilot Travel Centers expect to begin construction on nine more EV charging locations in Ohio over the next several months. By the end of 2024, a total of 25 new fast charging stations are anticipated to be operational in the state, which represents a total investment of more than $24 million. This includes $18 million in NEVI funding, plus $6 million from the private entities selected to install and operate the charging stations, including Pilot Travel Centers, Francis Energy, Meijer, EVgo Services and ChargeNet Stations.

In total, Ohio will receive $140 million in NEVI funds over five years to support the installation of EV charging stations across the state. While the first round focused on interstates, future rounds will fill in infrastructure gaps along major U.S. and state routes as well. 

ODOT is accepting proposals for the next round of funding until 1 p.m. Jan. 25, 2024. Information about how to submit a proposal is available HERE.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.