Ohio Unveils Plans for Interstate EV Charging Network

The Buckeye State becomes the first to debut plans under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program.
Ohio proposed EV charging station map

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Buckeye State plans to install 27 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along seven of its interstates, making Ohio the first state in the nation to announce charging station sites that will be developed as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program.  

[Read more: Fuel Associations Applaud White House's EV Charging Infrastructure Plan]

"This is an exciting time for Ohio as we continue to lead the charge in electric mobility," said Governor Mike DeWine. "As more Ohioans purchase EVs, this statewide network of chargers will ensure that our transportation infrastructure is prepared to accommodate these drivers."

DeWine announced that the state will award more than $18 million in NEVI funds for the fast charging stations off of Interstate Highway 70, I-71, I-74, I-75, I-76, I-77 and I-90. 

The NEVI funding will be matched with nearly $6 million from the private entities selected to install and operate the stations, including Pilot Travel Centers, TH Midwest, Francis Energy, Meijer Stores, EVgo Services, ChargeNet Stations and Equilon/Shell.  

Winning proposals include site plans at existing travel centers, grocery stores and retail shops, along with a hotel, restaurant and bank. The stations will be located every 50 miles and will be situated no more than one mile off the interstate. Each site will include at least four charger ports with 150 kilowatts for each port and will be accessible 24/7 with easy access to food, drink and restrooms. 

"One of the major concerns for consumers considering purchasing an electric vehicle has been, 'Can I find a place to charge it?' This is a major step in removing that barrier and making sure that in Ohio, the answer is yes," said DriveOhio Executive Director Preeti Choudhary

Ohio was the first state in the nation to release a request for charging station proposals last year, which, according to the governor's office, was a strategic move to put it ahead of other states for sought-after equipment and specialized technicians to install the stations. This fall, the Ohio Department of Transportation will issue its second request for proposals to install an additional 16 charging sites.  

DriveOhio will oversee the implementation of the stations, which are expected to begin operation next year, joining 13 pre-existing federally compliant stations in the state. There are currently about 53,000 registered EVs in Ohio, with the state expecting that number to significantly increase in coming years.