Fairfield, Hamilton seeking more EV charging stations

Charging stations are to be located near high-traffic corridors in the neighboring cities.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

By the fall, Fairfield expects to have four locations for the public to charge electric vehicles, and officials said hopefully more soon.

Even more are expected to be installed in Hamilton.

Fairfield’s stations will be installed at no cost to the city ― all of the funding comes from OKI’s Carbon Reduction Grant program ― and Fairfield City Council is seeking money for more stations from the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

The installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations is outlined in recently updated and implemented city planning documents, and OKI earlier this year granted Fairfield’s funding request for three Level 2 dual-port charging stations. These new stations are expected to be installed this fall at Waterworks Park, the Fairfield Lane Library, and Harbin Park.

With the second round of OKI’s Carbon Reduction Grant program, Fairfield is seeking more Level 2 charging stations. If awarded, Fairfield staff plans to install second dual-port charging stations at Waterworks Park and the Community Arts Center, and a new dual-port station at the Justice Center.

It’s expected to cost slightly more than $600,000, including contingency funding, with no matching funds from Fairfield, according to city documents.

There are few EV charging options within the city of Fairfield, which include stations at the two Jeff Wyler car dealerships on Ohio 4, Bethesda Butler Hospital on Hamilton-Mason Road near Bypass Ohio 4, and a pair of grocers: Meijer on Kolb Drive and Kroger on Wessel Drive.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

There is an abundance of publicly owned and privately owned EV stations to the east, in West Chester and Liberty townships, and more to the north in neighboring Hamilton.

Fairfield currently has one Level 2 dual-port charging station at the Community Arts Center, 411 Wessel Drive, which is free to use and went live in 2021. It was chosen to be the first station location in the city because it met the criteria in its application to the Ohio EPA: it’s a well-lit safe location near the heavily traveled Pleasant Avenue (US 127), and being on city property, it didn’t cost any local dollars.

Once the other stations are brought online, there will be a fee implemented, according to the city.

Hamilton’s publicly owned EV charging stations are serviced by ChargePoint, and the city purchased five Level 2 dual-port stations in 2021 through an Ohio EPA grant (two at 218 S. 3rd St., and one each at 790 N. 3rd St., 101 S. Monument Ave., and 125 Main St.)

Last year, Hamilton was awarded a $441,000 grant through OKI to install six Level 3 EV stations, known as fast chargers. Two would be located at 141 Market St. and four at 2216 S. Erie Boulevard.

“The U.S. is on a path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, so many vehicles on the road will be electric,” said Michael Gurr, Hamilton’s senior project manager. “Our city’s excited to be prepared and to get ahead of the curve.”

The charging station sites are in high-traffic areas and are used daily. The Leval 3 charging stations are now in the procurement process, and city officials anticipate their installation before the end of the year. Hamilton is also pursuing additional federal grant opportunities to continue the city’s EV infrastructure growth.

“The wave of electric vehicles is coming in the very near future, and Hamilton sees this growth and the need for more charging infrastructure,” said city spokesperson Maddie Watkins. “The city of Hamilton is aggressively working to get ahead of this EV growth with charging stations strategically located throughout the city.”

As does Fairfield.

“This is an integral part of that, our overall strategy,” said Fairfield City Council member Tim Meyer, adding more EV charging stations and the city’s draft sustainability plan. “You jumped on this quick, and I appreciate that, especially this opportunity.”

The EV charging station projects align with Fairfield’s goals outlined in the Fairfield Forward Comprehensive Plan and draft Fairfield Sustains plan, said Public Works Director Ben Mann.

“The plan specifically mentions investigating electric vehicle charging stations,” he said. “Staff believe the grant has merit and that the installation will help keep the city in touch with developing technologies. The addition of EV charging stations has the potential to provide support to our local economy.”

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