State officials with the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Drive Ohio Initiative gave the public an update on the state’s electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure development progress Friday afternoon in Trotwood. They say they plan to install direct current (DC) fast-charging stations every 50 miles along most interstate highways in Ohio within the next few years.
DC fast charging stations are important as they can fully charge an electric vehicle in 20 minutes to an hour. Compare this to a Level 2 AC charging station (the one most people have at home) that takes 4-7 hours to fully charge. Experts say having enough fast-charging stations along the road is essential for EV drivers to have a predictable and reliable experience when traveling or commuting.
“There is a target [DC Fast Charging Stations] They will be installed every 50 miles on major routes to ensure EV drivers have a place to charge and drive long distances with confidence,” said Briana Badanes, Managing Director of Communications and Policy at DriveOhio. said in an interview with WYSO before the conference.
President Biden’s Infrastructure Act of 2021 provides more than $100 million over the next five years to install fast-charging stations in Ohio through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program.
Rapp Hankins, president of local EV advocacy group Drive Electric Dayton, helped organize Friday’s meeting. Hankins said the gathering’s location in a black-majority suburb was intentional, and that as NEVI funds continue to be distributed throughout Ohio, his organization wants to ensure that the voices of the people of Trotwood are heard. said that
“The whole picture of economic development should be in every community in every part of Ohio, whether they’re from Appalachia, Trotwood, Cincinnati, or whatever.” I have never seen such fairness.”
Attendees also had the opportunity to see electric vehicles and talk to electric vehicle owners, including Mr. Hankins.
Some free market advocates have voiced their opposition to programs like NEVI, believing they are government subsidies for the EV industry. As one commentator, Stephen Hightower, president of Hightowers Petroleum, a local fossil fuel distributor, said in a newspaper op-ed: Columbus dispatch Earlier this month:
“We did not install thousands of gas stations across Ohio through social engineering or government subsidies, so such tactics should not be used to build an EV charging network. , innovation, and the free market to thrive.”
WYSO contacted Hightowers Petroleum to request an interview with Hightower’s president, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
Today, 3% of Ohio’s registered vehicles are EVs, and that number is trending upward as manufacturers invest in EV technology and prices continue to drop.