Columbiana Port Authority Looks to Future with EV Charging Station

LISBON, Ohio — Hoping to encourage the use of electric cars while serving those that already exist, the Columbiana County Port Authority’s board of directors approved a service agreement for installation of an electric vehicle charging station..

“We have been researching electric vehicle charging stations for about seven months, and with the increased sense of environmental stewardship, the port authority will be the first public entity in Columbiana County to install an EV charging station,” Executive Director Penny Traina told the board during Monday’s meeting.

She said that, while electric vehicle charging stations are still relatively new in the automobile industry, “We hope that we can become the catalyst that attracts more awareness toward electric cars.”

Traina said after the meeting some car dealerships offer EV charging stations but no other public entity does as of yet in the county.

ChargePoint, Level 2 CT4000

The board approved a five-year service agreement with the Delaware-based ChargePoint Inc. for the Level 2 CT4000 dual electric vehicle charging station at a total cost of $10,800, which includes maintenance, billing, monthly tracking reports and an app to allow drivers to locate the station, charging sessions and energy usage information.

Asked if there is a large enough market in the county for such a station, Traina said ChargePoint conducted an analysis of Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, which showed there are sufficient numbers of electric vehicles in that radius to merit a charging station.

With Lordstown Motors Corp. unveiling the Endurance all-electric pickup truck June 25, which it looks to manufacture in the former General Motors Lordstown plant, and GM and LG Chem set to move forward on an electric-vehicle battery plant in the village, the charging station “goes hand-in-hand with electric cars,” Traina said. “We’re trying to look into the future and the needs of the county.”

The charging station will be installed in the front parking lot of the port authority offices at Lincole Place in Lisbon. Drivers will be able to pull up and use a credit card or the cloud app to pay for electric just as someone would a gasoline pump.

She expects the station to be installed and ready for use within the next month.

“This is huge news for Columbiana County, that we have the foresight to look into this,” Traina said.

In other business, the board approved a loan of up to $425,000 to the village of Leetonia as part of an Infrastructure Financing Program implemented as a way for the port authority to assist local county governments.

The program will be “beneficial,” Traina said, because it will enable the port authority to loan cash it has on hand, which is normally invested in certificates of deposit to government entities for infrastructure improvements.

With rates currently “extremely low,” Traina said, this “gives us the opportunity to increase our annual accruals.”

A $750 application fee applies for those government entities interested in applying for a loan, and Traina said proposed projects will be scored to determine which are eligible for funding.

In Leetonia’s case, the village will be loaned up to $425,000 for five years at 2% interest with the money used to improve streets, curbing, catch basins and other storm water drainage facilities.

Pictured at top: The Lordstown Motors Endurance is among the vehicles that will be able to use the electric vehicle charging station that will be installed at the Columbiana County Port Authority’s office.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.