$10 Million EV Charging Infrastructure Plan Approved By Ohio PUC

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As part of a decision that sets rates for customers of American Electric Power in Ohio, that state’s public utilities commission has approved a 50 cent per month surcharge that will be used to fund a $10 million EV charging infrastructure plan over the next 4 years. The plan will see the installation of 300 Level 2 public chargers and 75 Level 3 fast chargers within the AEP Ohio service area. Both numbers are about double the number of similar chargers available in Ohio at present.

“Expanding our electric-vehicle charging infrastructure and adding renewable energy onto the grid is critical as electric vehicles become the new normal in transportation,” says Alex Fisher, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, one of the many stakeholders involved in the PUC’s decision.

A key component of the plan is that it will make chargers available to drivers who live in condominium or apartment complexes, where charging equipment is often unavailable today. Level 2 chargers cost between $3,000 and $7,000 each to install. Each Level 3 charger costs about $40,000.

Responses from current or potential EV drivers, primarily in the US. Image via The State of Public & Private Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure, and the Landscape Looking Forward (2018)

The program will also include rebates and incentives to install chargers in homes and at work locations. The highest rebates will go to charging installations in public areas near government offices. AEP won’t own the stations but will collect a 5% fee for administering the rebates and the AEP logo will appear on the stations. The plan approved last week also authorizes AEP to spend up to $10.5 million to test microgrids systems that include battery storage to help make areas within the electrical grid self-sufficient in the event of a wide-spread power outage.

The final component of the PUC’s order is a data gathering commitment that requires all installed infrastructure to be networked and demand response capable. Annually, AEP Ohio will share collected data with signatory parties to allow for adjustments within the program and improve future programs.

Following the PUC decision, the Natural Resources Defense Council issued the following statement: “Data and information gleaned from the AEP Ohio pilot program will inform utility pilot proposals across the Midwest and beyond.

“Increasing access to charging stations should enable a broader, more diverse EV market, help integrate renewable generation, and grow customer awareness to the benefits of driving on a cleaner, cheaper fuel. With Ohio’s sprint forward, the EV movement takes another important step to accelerate a technology that increasingly bests its gasoline-powered counterparts on total cost of ownership, performance, and overall emissions.”

Top image via EV Charge Hub

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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