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Ohio’s EV Industry Is Expanding, But EV Infrastructure Needs Improvement

Back in September, General Motors Co announced that it will invest $760 million in its Toledo, Ohio manufacturing plant to develop drive units for electric trucks, according to a news report on Reuters. The demand for electric cars in Ohio is there, and many car manufacturers are going electric to tap into the growing EV market. However, a lack of infrastructure is slowing down the widespread adoption of electric mobility.

With few public stations in Ohio, drivers have range anxiety. Based on the Canton Repository, currently, there are 217 public direct-fast chargers in the state, and only a dozen are available within a mile of an interstate highway exit. These figures show the EV infrastructure in the state ranks poorly compared to other regions, but it’s a work in progress. Below are some solutions that could improve Ohio’s EV infrastructure.

Government-Funded Charging Infrastructure

High gas prices have led many consumers worldwide to transition to electric vehicles. Unfortunately, many EV adopters in Ohio might wait longer for automakers to increase production while the government boosts investments to make charging stations accessible. In November 2022, Governor Mike DeWine revealed the state had offered $100 million for the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations across Ohio.

The deployment of electric vehicle chargers in Ohio will focus more on interstate corridors before expanding to other state routes. According to the Ohio Department of Transportation director, this network of EV chargers will help improve the quality of life for drivers. It will also boost their confidence and provide flexibility when driving on Ohio’s roads.

Incentives for EV Charger Installation

Ohio’s EV charging incentives aim to offset the buying and installation fees for level 2 and direct current fast chargers (DC fast chargers), which hinder widespread adoption of e-mobility. Note that the rebate amounts offered by the state government vary depending on where the EV charger will be installed. For example, consumers receive incentives of up to $45,000, 75% of the total project cost to install a level 2 charger in a multi-family complex and up to $50,000 for level 2 chargers in public facilities.

For this reason, it’s crucial to understand how public and home EV chargers differ. When installing a home charging system for your EV, you can opt for level 1 or level 2 charger. Despite high cost, level 2 chargers guarantee faster charging than level 1 and require a 240-volt outlet. However, public direct-current fast charging is the fastest option. This charging system can recharge a vehicle’s battery up to 100 miles within 30 minutes.

Automakers Investing in EV Battery Production

Besides providing charging incentives, Ohio’s government is supporting private investments to improve the quality of electric vehicle batteries. In October 2022, Honda and LG Energy Solutions announced a $4.2 billion joint venture to establish a new EV battery plant in Ohio. Honda also committed $700 million to retool its existing auto plant in Union County, Anna, to focus on EV production. In a quest to support fleet electrification and Ohio’s green economy, Honda and LG Energy Solutions are developing innovative battery technologies that will improve EV range and lower sticker prices.

Ohio’s electric vehicle infrastructure needs to catch up with the demand for EVs. However, there are solutions in progress to improve EV infrastructure. These solutions include charging incentives to reduce the cost of charging infrastructure and installation. Automakers are also working towards improving EV battery technology while the government is funding the deployment of electric car charging systems across Ohio.

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