Ohio First in the U.S. to Begin EV Fast Charger Construction Under NEVI Plan

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Jack Marchbanks announced today that Ohio is now the first state in the nation to break ground on an electric vehicle (EV) charging station built as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.

This milestone is the latest in a series of major EV advancements made by the state in recent years. Ohio was the first state in the nation to release a request for charging station proposals last year, which was a strategic move to put Ohio ahead of other states for sought-after equipment and specialized technicians to install the stations. Showing a continued urgency to give Ohioans an advantage in the shift to electric, Ohio was also the first state in the country to announce the future sites of its first round of EV charging stations.

“Ohio continues to lead in this rising sector,” said Governor DeWine. “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.”

“As more Ohioans adopt electric vehicles and the mix of automobiles on the road changes, we must ensure that our infrastructure is ready,” said Marchbanks. “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.”

The nation’s first NEVI charging station is being built at the Pilot Travel Center along Interstate 70 at U.S. Route 42, west of Columbus. Once complete, the station will be equipped with fast chargers installed by EVgo, capable of providing up to 350 kW when charging a single vehicle. When four vehicles are charging simultaneously, each port will receive up to 175 kW, which is enough power to charge an EV up to 80% in 20-40 minutes, depending on the vehicle’s battery.

ODOT Video & Interviews: First NEVI Groundbreaking
ODOT Photos: Site of First NEVI Groundbreaking & File Photos

While charging, customers will have 24/7 access to restrooms, Wi-Fi, food, beverages, and other convenience items for purchase. Additionally, an overhead canopy will shield drivers from inclement weather like rain or snow, just like gas pumps.

“When we talked with electric vehicle drivers throughout our public engagement process, we heard that user experience is key,” said DriveOhio Executive Director Preeti Choudhary. “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.”

In addition to this first site along I-70, construction is expected to begin soon on more than two dozen fast charging stations funded by NEVI across the state. All chargers installed as part of the first round are anticipated to be operational by the end of 2024.

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

Separate from the NEVI program, Ohio is taking steps to incorporate EVs into the state-owned vehicle fleet. The Ohio Department of Administrative Services will install six EV charging stations at three state-owned office buildings to support expanded fleet options. Sites include the James A. Rhodes State Office Tower, 4200 Surface Road, and the North High Complex. 

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