OHIO — Ohio will use federal funding from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program to invest in electric vehicle chargers over the next five years. 

What You Need To Know

  • Ohio is investing $140 million of NEVI Program funding in EV chargers over the next five years 

  • This year, $18 million will be used from the program and will be matched with $6 million in private funding 

  • Twenty-seven chargers will be scattered along seven Ohio highways 
  • The chargers will be found one mile off the highway at restaurants, banks, grocery stores and more 

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, around 53,000 Ohioans have registered an electric vehicle. While it’s a small percentage compared to drivers with a fuel powered car, the number continues to grow with ODOT reporting a 50% increase in electric vehicle registrations from July 2022 to July 2023. 

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program has given Ohio millions of dollars to invest in electric vehicle chargers. This is part of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris's plan to make America more green.

Electric vehicle owners said this investment will redefine how electric vehicle owners can travel. Over the next five years, Ohio will invest $140 million to place chargers off of popular freeways like I-70 and I-77. The first round of that funding has already gone into effect, using $18 million of federal funds and $6 million of private funds.

"Vehicle charging stations will be built on private property and will be owned and operated by private companies,” said Breanna Badanes with the Ohio Department of Transportation's DriveOhio. “Typically, charging companies charge by the kilowatt hour, so it'll depend how much power your vehicle needs to reach the charge, how much charge you need. Right now, with electric vehicles, drivers do most of their charging at home, and we expect that to continue, but what this network of electric vehicle chargers throughout the state will do is enable long distance travel.”

This investment is great news to electric vehicle owners like Myria Williams. She has three electric vehicles in her family, and while it’s easy to get a quick charge at home or within the city of Columbus, finding a charger gets harder and harder the closer she gets to rural parts of the state.

“You just can't find those stations along any of our routes in Ohio, just everywhere,” said Williams. “This funding and the future rounds of it will help to open up corridors like route 70, 77 and several others to, you know, make it so that you can travel between those large cities in those metro areas.”

Her mom lives in rural Ohio and Willams travels for work at least once per week. She said this investment will allow more Americans the access and possibility of driving electric.

“Those corridors, it also opens it up for the people who don't have those vehicles yet to be able to see that it is a possibility,” said Williams. 

There will be 27 electric vehicle fast chargers placed around seven of Ohio's freeways. You’ll be able to find them just a mile off the highway at grocery stores, restaurants, banks and hotels. The goal is to have one accessible at least every 50 miles.