The Ohio Department of Transportation, through its DriveOhio program, is awarding millions of dollars to get more EV fast chargers installed in the state. The money, naturally, is coming from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program. EVgo is turning out to be a big winner in the award funding in Ohio. The EV charging leader and its eXtend partners are receiving $13.8 million to get 20 new EV fast chargers installed around the state.
The bulk of these — 14 of the 20 locations — are places owned by eXtend partner Pilot Company. (It’s a fueling station network, not a company manufacturing airline pilots.) All of the charging stations at these locations will be 350kW ultra-fast chargers.
Adding this $13.8 million, DriveOhio is rising to $18 million of deployed NEVI capital for advancing EV charging in the Buckeye State, aka the Birthplace of Aviation (if we want to return to that Pilot connection). Of that $18 million in funding, EVgo and its partners have gobbled up 75% ($13.5 million). Kudos to EVgo for being an early leader and sticking through years of tough growth to get to these more mature stages of the EV revolution and electric vehicle infrastructure rollout in the States.
“Fast charging deployments are poised to scale at unprecedented rates thanks to the public-private partnerships strengthened by NEVI, and states like Ohio are leading the way,” said Cathy Zoi, CEO at EVgo. “Thanks to our long operational history and our blue ribbon partnerships on both our owned and operated network and through our eXtend business, we are well-positioned to deliver the fast charging infrastructure needed by states like Ohio. We thank the state for selecting us and our eXtend partners as we continue to expand our network to meet the growing demand for charging in the Buckeye State.”
You may be thinking, like I was, “Hey, have I missed a lot of other announcements like these from other states?” I don’t recall seeing much news about state deployments of NEVI funding. And the reason for that is that there hasn’t been much of it. Ohio is one of the first states to announce such EV charging infrastructure awards.
Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by the US Congress (before the House tipped in favor of Republicans) and Joe Biden, more than $5 billion in funding is sitting in waiting for states to deploy toward EV charging infrastructure. While DriveOhio has awarded $18 million so far for 27 charging stations, over the coming five years, it will award more than $100 million.
At the moment, Ohio has 130 public EV fast chargers in operation. EVgo operates 37 of them at 10 locations. My one problem is that many stations don’t have enough stalls. Including just 4 charging stalls (as is often the case) leads to cars waiting for an open spot and being delayed on their travels — whether those are around town or long distance. I think all parties — charging station companies, policymakers, etc. — need to focus more on including at least 8 charging stalls at a charging station, and more in high-traffic areas. This will make a big difference in enabling easier, more convenient EV transportation and will invite more people to go electric. Hopefully the DriveOhio funding will help to build out more existing stations (add charge ports) in addition to funding charging infrastructure at new locations like in this latest round of funding. We shall see.
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