Alternative Fuels

FHWA Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFC)

FHWA designates AFCs to support the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure strategically along major national highways. Within the OKI region, FHWA has designated alternative fuel corridors for EV, CNG and LPG/Propane. I-275, I-71 (between I-71/75 split in Boone County to Socialville Foster Rd in Warren County), and I-75 (between the I-71/75 split in Boone County to Tylersville Rd in Butler County) received EV signage ready designat

ions; I-74, I-471, US 50, and the remainders of I-71 and I-75 in the OKI region received EV signage pending designations; I-71 and I-75 received CNG signage ready designations; I-74 in Indiana and I-275 received CNG signage pending designations; I-75 in Ohio received the LPG/Propane signage ready designation; and, I-71 in Ohio and I-74 in Indiana received the LPG/Propane signage pending designation. The designation of AFCs has increased in significance because it is now linked to funding provisions under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The BIL established the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant Program, both of which provide eligibility based on AFC designations. OKI will continue to facilitate these collaborations and strive to advance alternative fuel infrastructure, as appropriate.

Alternative Fuel Stations

The OKI Region currently has two NEVI compliant EV charging stations. NEVI compliant EV charging stations must have at least four combined charging system (CCS) charging ports capable of charging at 150kW o

r greater and be located within one mile of an AFC. Though charging technologies are rapidly improving and vehicle on board systems evolve, generally speaking most vehicles can charge from 10 to 80 percent in 25 to 40 minutes using DCFC, versus 7 to 8 hours for L2s.

NEVI

FHWA’s NEVI program is an initiative to promote EV adoption and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The program provides $5 billion in funding to states to strategically deploy EV charging stations and establish a reliable, interconnected network across the country. Each state was tasked with developing a plan outlining how they will use their allocated funds. These plans must address the following factors: ensuring long-term operation and maintenance of the infrastructure; identify and discuss outcomes from engaging with utilities; discuss how they will engage communities; and describe how they will support a convenient, affordable, reliable, and equitable statewide EV Network. Each State must update their NEVI plan annually on August 1.

Ohio was the first state in the nation

 to award NEVI funds to projects. The OKI region was a recipient of three projects: Meijer at I-75 & Tylersville Rd, Pilot Travel Center at I-75 & SR123, and ChargeNet Stations/White Castle at I-74 & Colerain Ave. Kentucky announced their first round of NEVI projects on October 5, 2023, the list included two projects in the OKI region: the Travel Center of America (I-71/75 at Richwood Rd) in Walton, KY, and the Travel Center of America (I-71/75 at Burlington Pike) in Florence, KY. Indiana plans to announce their first round of NEVI funded projects during the first quarter of 2024.

CFI

The Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program is a $2.5 billion competitive grant program created to deploy publicly accessible EV charging and alternative fueling infrastructure in the places people live and work, both urban and rural areas, in addition to along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors. There were no awards within the OKI Region for the first round of CFI funding announced in January 2024.

EV Adoption

OKI has maintained a database of annual EV registrations, both Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV), since 2020. In OKI’s Ohio counties between 2020 and 2023, BEV registrations grew by 196% from 3,656 to 10,840 vehicles. While in OKI’s Kentucky counties during the same period, BEV registrations increased 362% from 321 to 1,484.

Demand for EV Charging Infrastructure

Maintaining ample charging infrastructure is critical to supporting future EV adoption. Estimates on needed infrastructure vary significantly from source to source. OKI settled on using 10% as the ideal proportion of public chargers that are Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC) vs. Level 2 chargers and a preferred ratio of one public EV charger per 20 registered EVs in the region. These values were chosen as a moderate mix of the estimates put forth in a review of available literature. OKI estimates that by 2030 the region will require at least 549 public DCFC charging ports and up to as many as 1,986 public DCFC charging ports based upon current EV growth trends. Likewise, the region will need a minimum of 4,940 public level 2 ports and a maximum of 17,875 public level 2 ports by 2030. The OKI region currently has seven public DCFC charging stations (non-dealership locations) with 34 ports, while there are 165 level 2 public charging stations (non-dealership locations) with 513 ports.

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