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Ohio Paves The Way For Electric Vehicle-Driven Economy

Ohio is making a significant investment in electric vehicles (EVs) and high-quality jobs. According to the U.S. Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Investments and Jobs study conducted by WSP and the EDF, The Buckeye State has received $7.5 billion in EV investments during the past eight years, creating 5,500 new jobs. 

The state’s new Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment plan is now making $100 million in federal funding available to build out a network of charging stations between today and 2028. It is designed to stimulate economic growth and make EV travel easy statewide: from Lake Erie to the southern border and across the Appalachians. 

Numerous automobile manufacturers are making the same business calculus and are supporting the state’s transition by announcing new plants and transforming older facilities into EV plants to increase the production of electric cars and their parts.

“Automakers in Ohio and across the country have signaled they are pivoting to EVs, so having the charging infrastructure in place is key to positioning Ohio for the future,” Preeti Choudhary, DriveOhio executive director, told The Business Download: Clean Energy.As more EVs become available and more drivers make the switch, a reliable charging network will give drivers the confidence and flexibility to travel long distances for business or recreation.”

Photo Courtesy Ford Motor Company

The new charging network mandates that stations have at least four direct fast chargers capable of at least 150 kilowatts each. Right now, the state only has 13 charging stations, but it will add at least 30 more over the next two years. Ohio is currently open for private bids for companies to build that network.

“Ohio’s electric vehicle infrastructure deployment plan simply builds on the work we’ve been doing for years,” Choudhary said. “This allowed us to be among the first to issue a Request for Proposals for companies to install and operate EV charging stations.” 

“Additionally, as discretionary grants become available, DriveOhio has developed guidance to help local governments be successful in securing funding,” Choudhary continued. “Ohio’s resources have become a model for other states.”

Photo Courtesy Ford Motor Company

Automobile manufacturers are following suit. Honda recently announced a $700 million plan to transform its existing plants in Marysville, East Liberty, and the Anna Engine Plant to EV production, adding 300 new jobs. 

Honda has also teamed up with LG Energy Solution to build a new EV battery plant in Fayette County that will create thousands of jobs. Likewise, General Motors will invest nearly $800 million to repurpose its Toledo factory for drive units for electric trucks.

“Currently, a significant portion of our state’s economy is dependent on the internal combustible engine supply chain, so as auto manufacturers begin to invest in EVs, Ohio has a unique opportunity to lead in building a supply chain that capitalizes on EV growth,” Choudhary added.

“This is why being among the first states to start the process gives us an advantage, hopefully putting Ohio at the front of the line when it comes to available equipment and contractor capacity.”

Photo Courtesy Governor Mike DeWine

Ohio’s commitment to jobseekers, drivers and the automobile industry will bring big dividends to the state’s economy. Soon, charging stations will be available on all major interstate and highway corridors and at prominent tourist attractions. The state firmly believes a move toward EVs will not only attract drivers but continue to grow business for all Ohioans.

“This investment gives Ohio another opportunity to compete for the future of the auto industry,” said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted in a statement. “Leading in the automotive sector has been a priority for Ohio for quite some time, and as part of that goal, we’ll continue to work towards building up the EV workforce so that businesses have access to talent, and Ohioans can secure a career in a new, innovative industry right here in our state.”

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