June 25, 2021
The city of Pickerington is adding two docking stations for electric vehicles to the Farmer’s Market parking lot located at Town Square Drive and Center Street. Each station can charge two vehicles at once.
“They got installed this week, and there is an activation process that we need to go through before vehicles can use them,” Pickerington Economic Director Dave Gulden said. “We hope they’ll be ready for public use soon.”
Funding for the charging stations was made possible through a grant from the Ohio EPA.
“As more people drive electric vehicles, it is vital to add charging stations across Ohio,” Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson said. “These grants will make it easier for people to drive electric vehicles and all Ohioans can reap the environmental benefit from reduced auto emissions.”
In 2020 the city applied for $30,000 in grant funds and the state approved the request this spring. The cost of the four docking stations totaled $45,000. Pickerington covered the difference with its own funds.
“The city believes that electric vehicles will only grow in number, and at this early stage of consumer adoption there is a need for more public charging stations,” Gulden said. “The availability of the grant covering most of the cost is a low-risk way to install this new technology.”
The grants are funded by the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund.
Per the Ohio EPA website, between model years 2009 and 2016, instead of producing diesel vehicles which met environmental emission standards, Volkswagen created devices which when “activated during emissions testing made vehicles appear to be compliant with the law, when in fact, during an on-road operation, the vehicles emitted nine to 40 times the allowable amount of nitrogen oxides, a harmful air pollutant.”
After the truth was exposed, Volkswagen was forced to pay billions of dollars to settle with governments and individuals around the world. The Ohio EPA received $3.35 million to install more than 500 publicly available ports in 22 counties.
Fairfield County also received an Ohio EPA grant and will place two charging stations at the Workforce Center located at 4465 Coonpath Road NW in Carroll. The stations will be in the parking lot, which is close to US 33. They are expected to be installed by the end of the year.
“Users will get the first hour of charging free. After that, they will pay $1 per hour by credit card. They will be available for all, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said Carri Brown, Fairfield County Administrator.
“Across the country, there is an expectation for more electric vehicles to be on the road in the future,” Brown said. “There is a growing need for more charging stations. At the Workforce Center, we expect to have a lot of people taking classes and learning about their trades. We think there is a potential for more people to want charging stations at the center, and right now, the location is well-suited for public use, given the location is close to US 33.”
The city’s chargers will be equipped with the ChargePoint interface.
“Users of the chargers will need to register an account with ChargePoint to arrange payment methods,” Gulden said. “The city’s chargers will be available to the public 24/7, and pricing has not been determined yet.”
Other Fairfield County grant recipients were South Central Power for installation at their headquarters and Matt Taylor Kia of Lancaster.
Although the numbers are constantly evolving, the current statewide total for electric car ownership is 23,737 and 105,978 for hybrid ownership according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles charges the owners of electric cars a $200.00 annual license fee and the owners of hybrid cars a $100.00 annual license fee.