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Ohio EPA awards grants to local counties for electric vehicle chargers

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's logo
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Ohio EPA website
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's logo

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency awarded $7.9 million in grants to some local counties to build charging ports for electric vehicles last week.

The money came from something called the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund.

The trust fund was created after car company Volkswagen was caught fudging their federal emissions tests. Volkswagen had been putting illegal software into a variety of their car models between the years 2009 and 2016.

The software was designed to detect when the vehicle was being tested for emissions and would turn on a setting that reduced emissions. Under normal driving conditions, the vehicles were producing up to 40 times EPA-compliant levels.

From this fund, the Ohio EPA was awarded a little over $11 million to help build electric vehicle charging infrastructure by the state of Ohio. This would be in the form of publicly available chargers spread throughout various counties.

Last year, the agency used a little over $3 million of their allotment to build what are known as level 2 charging ports.

Now, the Ohio EPA is using the remaining money to build DC fast charging ports.

Alauddin Alauddin is the Assistant Chief of the Office of Environmental Education with the Ohio EPA. He also helped administer the grant program that awarded funds to the counties last week.

According to Alauddin, level 2 chargers are the ones people are probably most familiar with. Type 2 chargers are what electric car owners receive when they purchase their vehicle. They’re also the ones we often see in commercial spaces like shopping centers, or near schools and colleges.

Type 2 chargers are relatively cheaper, and are able to take an electric vehicle from an empty battery to one that is 80% full in 6 to 8 hours.

“In contrast, the DC fast chargers, these are significantly more expensive,” Alauddin said. “But they are estimated to charge up a car to 80% in anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.”

In total, there are 25 counties who were selected to receive funds to build these powerful chargers. Butler, Greene, Montgomery, and Warren counties will all build charging stations with the money.

Alauddin said the Ohio EPA was looking to fill gaps in existing charger coverage when they were deciding on grant locations. They also decided to place them near highways and interstates to better facilitate travel and traffic.

Alauddin also said the EPA considered “amenities” when deciding locations. In other words, they were considering what a traveler is going to do for the 20 to 40 minutes their car is charging.

“We’d like for people to be able to do something for those 20 [minutes], or at least a minimum of a rest area or restaurants close by,” he said.

You can find the full list of recipients here.

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.