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Pete Buttigieg: $15 million boost for Ohio electric vehicle charging

By Jake Beardslee · January 17, 2024

In brief…

  • U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $15 million to NOACA for EV charging stations.
  • Funds will support Phase 2 of NOACA's EV Charging Station Program across 5 counties.
  • Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said more chargers needed as EV purchases rise.
  • Buttigieg framed EV investments as part of effort to reshore manufacturing jobs.
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $15 million to install additional electric vehicle charging stations across Northeast Ohio as part of a broader push to expand EV infrastructure and manufacturing in the U.S.  Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $15 million to the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure across five counties in the region. The funds, which are part of a $623 million investment in EV charging stations nationwide, will support Phase 2 of NOACA’s regional Electric Vehicle Charging Station Program.

“As more and more Americans are purchasing EVs, chargers need to be available and accessible for drivers,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in an interview with 3News. He noted that not everyone can easily charge at home, even if they have a single-family residence. Driving habits often necessitate public charging options outside the home.

The NOACA funds will help install about 70 new charging points in various settings like community centers, suburbs and exurbs. “Local leaders provided a vision across Northeast Ohio for putting up about 70 of these charging points in a variety of different settings, community centers around the city, suburbs, and exurbs to make sure that those chargers are available, and more people can have the benefits, including the money you can save by using electricity rather than gas,” Buttigieg said.

NOACA Executive Director and CEO Grace Gallucci said in a statement, “NOACA is thrilled that we were competitively selected among so many great projects across the nation. EV networks are rapidly growing, and Northeast Ohio will be able to meet this demand and embrace a clean energy economy and reap the benefits of improved air quality.”

Buttigieg positioned the EV charging investments as part of a broader effort to reshore manufacturing, especially in the automotive sector. “As the automotive industry moves more and more in the direction of electric vehicles, we’ve got to make sure that that EV revolution is made here in the U.S., whether we’re talking about the cars, the batteries that go in the cars, or the equipment that charges the cars,” he said.