University Electric Setting Up EV Chargers in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Charging stations will soon be available for electric vehicle drivers in two parking lots downtown. 

University Electric is the contractor hooking up the service and installing them.

The existing Kress lot, next to West Federal Street, will eventually have two stations capable of charging four vehicles at a time.

“We have not started there yet. It won’t require as much work – as we’re just upgrading the electrical panel from its current state to a larger capacity panel and then putting in the charging stations,” said Eric Jay, vice president of University Electric.

Charging Up EVs – and More

On Fifth Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard, a new parking lot is being created. Two EV stations will be installed – with the ability to charge four vehicles.

“It’s been a pretty smooth job. Between help from the city and general contractor, it’s been moving quickly,” Jay said. 

A few other parking spots will be available in that lot. Also included: an e-bike rental and bike racks, bio-retention pond, benches and informational and educational displays.

Jordan Karim is a design engineer for the city and is handling all the logistics.

“These are Level 2 chargers. They’re ideal for people coming downtown that will be parked for at least an hour or two,” he said.

An average EV would gain about 30 miles of driving distance per hour.

The cost is measured per kilowatt-hour. To charge a vehicle for two hours, the fee would be $1, Karim said. Drivers will be able to pay with a credit or debit card.

Inner Workings of EV Charger Installation

Charger installations aren’t complicated.

“It’s all standard, run-of-the-mill electrical work,” Jay said. “We’re installing the service, running wire and conduits underground for the charging stations, as well as putting in light poles for the parking lot.”

Electricians work on wiring that will run from a service panel to EV chargers.

“A lot of people think you need more power than you do. It’s not any more complicated than installing a dryer in your home,” Karim added.

The projects were made possible because the city applied for and obtained money through the Ohio EPA VW Mitigation Grants (Diesel Mitigation Trust Fund).

Karim said the city would need to find additional funding before more EV chargers could be considered. However, he hopes to one day see access to fast-charging stations.

“It’s all about creating new interest in the downtown area and helping to support restaurants and businesses.”

According to Jay, electricians should be wrapping up their portion of the work before mid-July.

University Electric is a member contractor of NECA-IBEW Electricians, an association consisting of IBEW Local 64 in Youngstown, IBEW Local 573 in Warren and signatory electrical contractors throughout the Mahoning Valley.


Pictured at top: A University Electric crew with the electrical panel that will provide service for the EV charging stations.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.