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EV Charging Expansion Planned for Dayton, Ohio, Region

Communities in and around the Dayton area will soon see the buildout of more electric vehicle charging infrastructure thanks to funds allotted to the state from a federal civil lawsuit settlement with Volkswagen.

by Nick Blizzard, Chris Stewart, Dayton Daily News / October 5, 2020
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

(TNS) — More electric vehicle charging stations are expected on the horizon for drivers in Dayton area communities with state plans to provide $3.25 million funded by a court settlement.

Eighteen new sites in 11 communities could be added to the dozens of publicly accessible Level 2 charging stations for electric vehicles in an effort led by Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission.

Bellbrook, Centerville, Fairborn, Franklin, Huber Heights, Kettering, Oakwood, Miami Twp., Washington Twp., West Carrollton, and Xenia are part of the MVRPC’s proposal.

Dayton, meanwhile, is also aiming to land Ohio Environment Protection Agency funds by working with an electric vehicle charging site business to expand the number of stations there, according to the city.

Greene, Montgomery and Warren are among 26 counties in the state eligible for the $3.25 million earmarked by the Ohio EPA.

“The effort to secure investment from the EPA for EV charging stations located within so many of our member communities is a unique and very important opportunity to promote reductions in our region’s carbon footprint,” according to MVRPC Executive Director Brian Martin.

“Visible, publicly accessible EV charging serves to encourage consumers to consider plug-in vehicles by demonstrating that opportunities for fueling the vehicles are convenient throughout the region,” he added. “Electric vehicles are quieter, safer in a crash, have a lower cost of ownership, and emit less — or zero — pollution.”

VOLKSWAGEN MONEY FUELS FUNDS

Funds for the project come from money allotted to the state from a federal civil lawsuit settlement with Volkswagen after the automaker was accused of violating the Clean Air Act, according to the Ohio EPA.

The state agency has allotted $115,000 per county for dual port, Level 2 charging stations, the MVRPC said.

Based on that funding break down, “one could expect about seven dual charger projects per county,” according to the commission.

Level 2 charging stations are geared toward shorter distances while Level 1 sites are more commonly used for longer, interstate travel, officials said.

The number of Level 2 sites in the area, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center website, include: Dayton, 12; Centerville/Washington Twp., 5; Fairborn, 3; and Huber Heights, Kettering, Miamisburg, and Oakwood, 1 each.

Franklin, Miami Twp., Bellbrook, West Carrollton and Xenia do not have any Level 2 sites, records show.

Having the state award funds for Xenia’s proposal — which would install a station in a downtown municipal parking out — “would provide a valuable service for those who live or work in Xenia and drive electric vehicles,” City Planner Brian Forschner said in an email.

“Having EV chargers in our downtown can bring new customers to downtown businesses by encouraging EV drivers to stop in Xenia and visit local shops that are within walking distance while their vehicles are charging,” he said.

“The chargers will help Xenia ‘catch up’ with the rapid growth in electric vehicles and position for future growth,” Forschner added.

‘STRONG APPLICATION' A KEY

The Ohio EPA said grant awards will be announced in January, according to the MVRPC, with the state allowing up to two years to install the stations.

Sponsors for proposals the state selects will have to install and pay for the project with the OEPA reimbursing them up to 100%, said Matt Lindsay, the MVRPC’s environmental planning manager.

Private projects will be considered by the state, but — if chosen — funded at a lesser amount, Lindsay told MVRPC board members.

The state is likely to look more favorably on sites that can expand to four or six ports, he said, and it is giving project sponsors the choice of whether to charge users a fee.

"A strong application would include a site with walkable access to a variety of amenities — retail, restaurants or government offices and libraries or even greenspace, Lindsay said. “Or better yet, all three.”

Sites proposed in Kettering — which has no city-maintained stations — include Delco Park, the Kettering Recreation Complex and the Kettering Government Center near Lincoln Park and the Fraze Pavilion, records show.

“Those are some of our most highly used facilities by our residents,” Kettering Assistant City Manager Steve Bergstresser said.

“You might go the Fraze for a concert and you could charge your vehicle for a couple of hours while you’re at the concert,” he said. “Or if you’re going to work out at the rec center and you’re going to be there for an hour or so, you could charge your vehicle there.”

PLANS FOR SITES

Replacing “outdated” stations in an Uptown municipal lot and at the city building are part of Centerville’s proposal.

Those sites offer “convenience and accessibility to drive customer traffic and improve the service experience for our residents and visitors,” Centerville City Manager Wayne Davis said in an email. “Our current EV charging stations were installed approximately 10 years ago and are no longer serviceable. The systems also do not allow us to track usage.”

Publicly accessible charging stations in Dayton include the city hall parking garage, Day Air Ballpark, and on the campuses of the University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College, federal records show.

The city is working with a private EV charger installer for Ohio EPA funds from the Volkswagen settlement as it expects a “large number” of electric vehicles in Dayton in the next few years, city Sustainability Manager Mark Charles said in an email.

If the submission is successful, Charles said, sites for new stations would include the Dayton Art Institute, near Levitt Pavilion and the Arcade complex, the Dayton Convention Center, the Riverscape stage, and the Oregon District.

CHARGING STATIONS

Area communities are seeking state funds through the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission for Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations. The jurisdictions and the proposed sites for the stations include:

  • Bellbrook: Winters Bellbrook Library, city building.
  • Centerville: Uptown municipal lot, city building.
  • Fairborn: Community Library, Shoppes at Valle Greene.
  • Franklin: City building.
  • Huber Heights: The Rose Music Center, Thomas Cloud Park.
  • Kettering: Recreation complex, government center, Delco Park.
  • Miami Twp.: Austin Landing garage.
  • Oakwood: Orchard Avenue municipal lot.
  • Washington Twp.: Rec center, township building.
  • West Carrollton: The Point.
  • Xenia: Downtown municipal lot 2.

©2020 the Dayton Daily News, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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